If my spouse accrues debt before the divorce is final, am I liable?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my spouse accrues debt before the divorce is final, am I liable?

I am divorcing my husband and have been living with my parents for the last

month. During the marriage, we lived together in a rental with a month to month lease under both our names. The utilities were in my name only but he

has transferred them to his name. I plan to have my name removed from next

month’s lease and have it only in his name. He is agreeable to this. Am I liable if he does not pay rent or other utilities if they are in his name only before the divorce is final?

Asked on June 26, 2018 under Family Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you would not be liable for rent or utilities if they are in his name only--at least for any amounts incurred while they are in his name only. (You would remain liable for amount incurred while you are on the lease or account.) Please note that you need the landlord and your husband both to agree to remove you from the lease--a lease is a contract, and a contract may only be modified (including to remove someone from it) with the consent or agreement of all parties to it. So unless the landord agrees to remove you from the lease, you will remain obligated on it.

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