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An apartment lease, (or house or any lease of premises) is a contract. Your landlord does not care whether you remain married or get divorced, the lease must be paid. If your name is on the lease, with or without your spouse and whether or not either of you remain on the premises, the lease must be paid or you can be sued. Even if your spouse agreed, in a binding legal agreement or as ordered by the Court, to pay the lease, if your spouse fails to pay, you remain liable, whether or not you reside there.

Ideally, if possible, the party remaining should obtain a new lease in that party’s sole name, but the landlord has no obligation to “let you off the hook” because you moved out and/or filed for or became divorced. So, if that does not happen, a binding written agreement whereby your spouse agrees to pay the lease and hold you harmless at least gives you the right to sue your spouse…but you still remain liable. All of this also applies if your spouse stays and only your name is on the lease. If your spouse stays and your name is not on the lease, you would have no liability once the divorce is final. Finally, read the lease and see if it will automatically renew. If so, we should discuss your options.