When two people who are either married or in a civil partnership separate, the time between the separation and waiting for dissolution/decree absolute can be financially challenging. This is particularly true with regards to the mortgage or rent, utility bills and council tax payments if money is tight.
Who is responsible for the bills during the separation?
Ultimately, the person whose name is listed on the bills is responsible for them.
Both parties should continue with their existing arrangements, regardless of emotions, as any subsequent unpaid bills could result in County Court Judgements (CCJs) and subsequently that person’s ability to get credit further down the line.
Indeed, the consequences of letting mortgage payments slide can be severe and could even result in repossession of the property; therefore the partner with named responsibility, even if they have moved out, should consider the long-term risks of non-payment. In any case, penalties incurred as a result of non-payment of the mortgage, for example, will ultimately reduce the size of the ‘matrimonial pot’.
Although one half of the couple usually moves out, it should be recognised that both parties have the right to continue living at the family home whilst the divorce/dissolution is in progress, regardless of who owns the property.
What if one party isn’t paying their fair share?
If one party stops paying their share this could lead to financial difficulties, debt, and stress. It is vital to keep a written record of income and expenditure that can show the court where each party’s money goes every month and who has paid the bills to any given point.