Managing regular household bills on a monthly basis can be challenging enough during marital bliss. When a couple commences the divorce process, they often face two sets of household expenses in addition to their separate attorneys’ fees. Understanding some basic rules regarding marital income and expenses can be crucial to managing expenses and minimizing debt.
1. His money is your money. Her money is your money. (Provided it is not a gift, an inheritance, or funds he or she owned before the marriage.) In short, income earned during the marriage is considered marital property and owed jointly by both the husband and the wife. It does not matter if the husband exclusively earns the money and deposits it into an account only in his name. That money also belongs to the wife.
2. His debt is your debt. Her debt is your debt. (Provided it was incurred for a marital purpose, such as regular living expenses, and not something such as an affair, and incurred during the marriage.) It does not matter if the credit card is not in your name or you did not use any of the goods or services which the spouse purchase. You may be considered jointly liable for that debt because it is considered marital debt.
It is not uncommon for dueling spouses to lay claim to “my money” or assert that is “your debt.” Nevertheless, your lawyer can advise you whether that may really be the case and recommend from what sources you should pay expenses.