Am I liable for domestic partner’s child’s medical bills?

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Am I liable for domestic partner’s child’s medical bills?

We live together and his 16 year old daughters live with us full-time. I put all 2 on my health insurance when he lost his job. One daughter is scheduled for a very expensive surgery in 1 month. Am I financially liable?

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It also depends on if you are registered domestic partners...or just cohabitants.  I am guessing if your insurance allowed you to add the children that you are registered domestic partners.  In that case, you are could be held liable in a number of ways.  You could be considered a "de facto" parent if you held the daughters out as your own.  Your insurance can contractually find you liable since you are the primary on the insurance.  In addition, as a registered domestic partner, you are liable for the community debts.

If you are registered domestic partners I am wondering why you are concerned with financial liability.  You need to see yourself as a family of 4--sharing all assets and debts. 

Best of luck.

 

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are financially responsible for any person you have on your insurance if you are the primary. Now, the issue will be if you can create a written and enforceable agreement between you and the domestic partner to ensure he pays you for any out of pocket expenses. Ultimately, you are not married and there is no guarantee right now between the two of you that he will pay. If the child needs this surgery, you may need to see if your domestic partner can sign the guarantee with the surgeon and hospital to pay the bills if there are out of pocket costs.


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