If my husband has moved out and now refuses to pay his half of the mortgage, how can I force him to do so?

He moved in with his mistress a few months ago. He is unemployed. However he still comes to our house and takes things (the last time it was the large flat screen TV). I have a full-time job and am at work all day. I can’t afford to pay the entire mortgage. As it is, half the mortgage consumes a large chunk of my income. Plus, we have 2 kids I am supporting, one of whom is in college. Is there a way to compel him to pay for his half of the mortgage?

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  What you need to do is to establish your rights and obligations between you in a formal sense by court order.  The responsibility exists as a matter of law but unless you have something concrete you may not have any recourse to enforce it.  You also need to file for exclusive occupancy of the house so that you can change the locks and have him stopped - if need be by the police - from coming in and taking things while you are at work.  You need to file a proceeding in court for support and payments.  The problem I see is obvious: he is unemployed.  But as long as you obtain orders and then enforce the order by obtaining judgements you can collect when ever he does get one.  You need legal help here.  This is too overwhelming under the best of circumstances and you are making the best of a horrible situation for you and the kids.  The kids are lucky to have you.  Good luck.


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