My husband’s left me. He’s the main breadwinner. How am I going to pay the bills?

by Nadine de Souza

Firstly, don’t panic! If you can’t agree to your husband giving you some money, then there are various things you can do to get some money from him. 

1. Apply to the court

You will need to ask the court for something called a ‘maintenance pending suit’ as quickly as possible. This is because it can take a while to get a hearing date. In the meantime, you might find yourself without money, so you should consider whether you're entitled to any benefits. If you do make a court application, a judge will expect you to have investigated the benefits position.

2. Try and keep up with your payments

You need to try and keep meeting all your financial responsibilities. You don’t want to adversely affect your credit rating, which is particularly important with your mortgage company. If your husband usually pays the bills, then you may need to check that he is still doing so. In order to make sure that you don’t miss your payments there are companies that will give you a loan and take the money out of your divorce settlement.

3. Cancel any cards in joint names

One thing that you shouldn’t do is to use your husband’s credit cards without his consent. If you have cards in joint names, then you should cancel them.

4. Discuss things with your spouse, if possible

The best way to try to sort things out is to discuss it with your spouse first and use the court as a last resort. You could also try mediation, if you find it difficult to talk to your spouse without arguing.

5. Apply for interim periodical payments

If you have no other alternative but to go to court, then you can make an application for interim periodical payments after you have filed your Divorce Petition. If you haven’t already filed a document called a Form E which sets out your financial position, then you’ll have to send a sworn statement to the court which sets out your financial circumstances. Your husband will also have to send information to the court about his financial position.

The court will look at all the evidence and there will be a hearing about the interim payments. Any order that is made will stop when your divorce is finalised with Decree Absolute.

Help from Lawpack

All the divorce forms you need – and expert guidance on how to use them – can be found in Lawpack’s Separation & DIY Divorce Kit.

If you need assistance in completing the forms, then you can use our DIY Divorce Service who will complete them for you. With our Managed Divorce Service they will complete them and also file them at court for you.

If you want more in-depth information from a divorce lawyer about all aspects of divorce law then read our guide, How to Get a Divorce by Punam Denley. Packed with tips and expert advice to ensure that you get through the divorce process smoothly.

Other information


Published on: November 12, 2014

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