Contact Us Today 248-608-4123

Michigan Family Law Blog

How Do Bills Get Paid During a Divorce in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Mar 19, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

When you are considering a divorce, there can be a lot of anxiety about a wide variety of issues.  Because the divorce process  takes time and is designed to be deliberate and slow moving,, one consideration that concerns many people in this situation is how they will pay their bills while the divorce case is proceeding.  That is how do the typical family and personal bills get paid between the time you file the complaint for divorce and the time that the divorce is finalized.  This blog is intended to address this issue generally, each case is different and is dependent on a variety of factors.  If you have questions regarding your own particular situation, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation either by clicking this link or by calling us at (248) 608-4123.

Who Pays the Bills While the Divorce is Pending?

Typically the bills are paid in the same manner as they were during the marriage while the divorce case is proceeding.  For instance if both parties deposited their checks into the joint account and paid all of the bills out of that account then that is how the bills will be paid while the case is pending.  Alternatively, if one person was responsible for depositing the funds required to pay the bills into the account, then that person will remain responsible for continuing to deposit the money into the account.  

When the case is first filed, depending on the situation, the person filing for divorce may submit an "Ex Parte Order to Maintain the Financial Status Quo" along with the complaint for divorce and other documents that are required to get the case started.  The ex parte order typically states how the bills have been paid during the marriage by the spouses and may provide a list of all the bills that the parties typically pay.  The order will then state that the spouses must to continue to pay the bills in the manner described in the order.  The ex parte order is submitted to the judge and if the judge signs the proposed ex parte order (and it is not objected to by the other spouse in time) then it becomes the order of the court and the spouses are bound to follow it.  If an ex parte order is not granted, then either spouse may file a motion and have a hearing about getting an order to maintain the financial status quo or some other order delineating how the bills are to be paid until the divorce is final.

Sometimes, the spouses run into problems with these orders because one spouse may actually spend more than they did during the marriage (intentionally or otherwise) or the other spouse may perceive that this is happening even if it is not.  When this occurs, typically the spouse that believes the other spouse is not abiding by the order will file a motion and request that the judge order the other party to curtail the spending.  Another approach is to demand that the other spouse be responsible for reimbursement for some or all of these funds in the final division of the assets and accounts.  Sometimes one spouse will refuse to deposit the full amount of the paycheck or whatever funds they are required to deposit into the account according to the order, so the other spouse will file a motion requesting that the court order the other spouse to actually deposit all the required funds.  The failure by one spouse to follow the court order in either of the above described ways can lead to the court finding that spouse in contempt.

Financial issues are often a source of contention in marriages and even more so during a divorce.  It is important to have an attorney that can help guide you through the process and obtain the appropriate orders to handle the problems that arise.  If you are considering a divorce or separation, contact us to schedule a consultation either by clinking here or by calling us at (248) 608-4123.. 


About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

Goulding Family Law & Mediation, PLC is committed to answering your questions about Divorce, Family Law, and Estate Planning law issues in Michigan.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.