Your divorce has been filed, so what do you still have to pay? The answer to that question is not as straight forward as you may think. Each Circuit Court has their own rules regarding what parties can and cannot do during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage action (divorce). Some Circuit Courts have what is called a “Standing Administrative Order” which orders both parties to follow certain rules while their dissolution is moving forward. Petitioners (the party that initially filed the case) are provided a copy of the order at the time they file their case by the Clerk of Court. The Respondents (the party being served with the papers) are usually provided a copy of the order with the initial pleadings at the time of service. It is imperative that both parties read the order, as they will be held to comply with the order during the case.
Most Standing Administrative Orders direct both parties to continue to pay the bills that they have historically paid throughout the marriage. That means, if you paid the mortgage and electric bill during the marriage, and you moved out of the house, you cannot just stop paying the mortgage and electric bill because you are no longer residing in the home. It does not matter that you have rent somewhere else, you are ordered to continue to pay the bills as you have historically done throughout the marriage, unless you get permission from the court to stop.
In order to ensure that you are in compliance with the courts’ orders during your dissolution of marriage action, it is imperative that you read all of the documents you receive thoroughly, and seek the assistance of counsel if you have any questions regarding what expenses you are required to continue to pay during the pendency of the case.
We here at Schwam-Wilcox & Associates can help you understand the administrative orders in your district, and we can help you have those orders modified or enforced to suit your needs.