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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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