What can I do to make my wife help me pay our bills?

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What can I do to make my wife help me pay our bills?

My wife is involved in adultery and has left the home. She was helping with bills but now she’s decided that she doesn’t want help any more and I make enough money to cover them. However, I don’t; there no way Im going to be able to on just mine. She has the car but is not making payments and she has even told me that she going to drive it until they come get it.

Asked on September 30, 2016 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have to file a divorce action against her--that's the only way to get a court order forcing her to pay family debts or contribute to them (and if she has left you due to adultry, divorce seems to make sense): in a divorce, assets (like property, vehicles, money in the bank, etc.) and debts and obligations (monthly charges; amounts you owe) will be divided between you, so you won't end up having to pay for everything yourself. Moreover, when filing the divorce action, you can file for relief on an "emergent" (think: urgent or emergency) basis, which means you can look for a court order on just 1 or 2 weeks notice (typically) requiring her to contribute to the couple or family debts while the overall divorce is being decided. Since filing on an emergent basis can be somewhat procedurally complex, you ideally should retain a family or divorce law attorney to help you.


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