After you or your spouse file a divorce petition, you can apply for what is known as ancillary relief and maintenance pending suit (using HM Court Service Form A ). Hopefully filing the application will encourage your spouse to start helping with the mortgage and other bills. If it does not, however, the court will in short time schedule a hearing to decide maintenance pending suit. At the hearing, the court may order your spouse to start paying maintenance immediately. Consult a solicitor as a matter of priority, since this is not an area where a do-it-yourself approach is recommended.