NSW Separation - Can Wife Leave Me With All Bills?

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mark l

New Member
6 December 2014
Hi. 2 weeks ago my wife left me (separation) with several unpaid bills, including 5 weeks’ rent. I have PTS and a shattered ankle from an assault. She wants most of the furnishings and to leave me with the bills. Can she do that?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Mark,

1. Are you separating from your wife?

2. If the bills are under a joint account, then from the provider's perspective, they can hold you responsible for the full bill. If you do not pay, they have a right to cut off your services. You should speak with the providers to let them know your situation (e.g. your wife as left you) and you require a financial payment arrangement. If they do not offer you one, depending on what services are provided, you can contact Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (for water and energy) and Telecommunications Ombudsman Services (for phone/internet). In relation to rent, speak with your landlord directly and work something out. Record all amounts paid in writing (e.g. in an accounts book) and keep all invoices received in order to show payment.

3. You can seek reimbursement for part of these payments from your wife. You will need to do so directly from your wife, either by agreement or by initiating a civil court matter (family court).

4. If you are separating from your wife, you should enter into a financial and assets agreement with your wife on how you two will split your assets and liabilities. If you cannot agree privately between yourselves, you can seek a Family Court financial order. There's many threads on this site under the "family law" thread that explains division of assets/property after separation.
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