My husband moved out with 3 days notice–what rights does he have? Maine

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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My husband moved out with 3 days notice–what rights does he have? Maine

We are married for 5 years, and we live in a rental house. My husband moved out in the middle of July, and left all utilities unpaid. He refused to pay any rent or expenses on the rental in August. He removed himself from the auto insurance policy that covered our cars, leaving me with a bill for my car insurance. We have a month to month lease, and I have notified the landlord that he has left. Do I have to allow him access to the house since he refuses to pay any expenses or rent for the current month? Can he demand any of our possessions such as the appliances, furnishings, etc? I know that a tenant is entitled to certain notice but what about a spouse who deserts the marriage? He says I released him

from obligation when he threatened to leave me and I said

Asked on August 20, 2017 under Family Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) He still has his marital obligations to you--only a divorce will end those, and in the divorce, the court will determine how much support (e.g. child support, alimony) he should pay and for how long, how any assets (belongings, money in the bank, etc.) are divided, and who pays which debts. 
2) However, your marital disruption has no effect on obligations to third parties, like landlords or utilites: if the rent isn't paid, whether by you or him or both of you, you can be evicted; if utilties aren't paid, they can be turned off; etc. 
3) As per the lease, he has the right to enter, use, reside in, etc. your rental home. A family court has the power in a divorce to order that he does not do so but instead stays elsewhere. Until and unless that happens, however, he has the same right to the rental unit as you do.
4) When a divorce is filed, even before it is finalized, the court can order a spouse to pay expenses (e.g. rent) for the other spouse.
Based on what you write, you should consult with a family law attorney *immediately* and look to file for divorce right away, in the process seeking interim orders requiring that he pay certain bills. Only by filing for divorce can you bring a court into the picture and give it the power to order your husband to do what is right or necessary.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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