Can my husband be put in collections for his son’s medical bill if his ex-wife took him to the hospital?

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Can my husband be put in collections for his son’s medical bill if his ex-wife took him to the hospital?

My husband’s ex-wife took their son to the hospital. She did not pay the copay and now the bill has appeared on my husband’s credit. My husband carries his son on his insurance but did not sign anything agreeing to pay the bill nor did we receive any bills. The hospital is telling my husband that it doesn’t matter if he signed or not that both parents are responsible under FL law. Does this law exist because I can’t find anything about it?

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law that the hospital may be referring to may not be one that will pop up under topics you may be researching.  It is the universallaw that requires parents to be responsible for the care of their children until they are 18, unless their parental rights have been in some way terminated or limited.  He does not have to sign an agreement with anyone.  If you think that the obligation to pay was his ex-wife's (and you re supported by their settlement agreement or the order of the court) then he has a right to sue her for the money should he choose to pay it or to sue her to comply with the agreement and pay the bill. He can dispute the charge with the credit reporting agency in the mean time.  You may want to have someone look at the terms of the divorce here.  Good luck.


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