What to do if I am listed as a co-defendant in a debt collection lawsuit for a medical bill because my husband did not have health insurance?

The debt was medical for a child. My ex-husband is the other defendant. He is court ordered in the divorce decree to carry health insurance. He did not. Can I be dismissed with prejudice from this claim with a defense that he is responsible to pay under state law? He failed to comply with the divorce decree.

Asked on January 8, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Because it's your child, you are responsible for the debt associated with the child's care.  The medical provider was not a party to your divorce decree so they are not bound by the requirements of the decree.  However, you are not without remedies.  Within the collection suit you can cross claim your ex-husband for failing to carry insurance.  You can also file a separate enforcement action in the court that granted your divorce and have that court order him to pay the medical expenses and indemnify you-- or face contempt consequences.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.