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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Parent's Responsibility for Adult Child's Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: NJ

    Sorry, I posted this in the general forum, and then thought it should probably be here.

    My wife received a summons and complaint in the Special Civil Part for a collection action. Her adult daughter (now 23, but 21 at the time) saw a medical professional. She gave the Dr. her insurance card (the insurance is through my employer). My wife never signed anything in connection with her daughter's visits. She never agreed to pay anything, either.

    According to my wife's judgment for divorce, her ex husband is 100% responsible for all unreimbursed medical expenses. Her ex husband lives out of state.

    Three questions:

    1. Can anyone recommend a good attorney that can represent my wife in this matter (provided the answers to 2 and 3 are not that she is responsible for the debts).

    2. Is she responsible for the unreimbursed medical expenses for her adult daughter under NJ law and is there a statute or case that discusses this issue?

    3. If the answer to number 2 is yes, she is responsible, does the judgment of divorce change her responsibility vis-a-vis the medical professional (i.e., is it binding on the medical professional and is he requiredto go after the ex-husband)?

    My wife just lost her job, the ex has been stiffing her for years on Child Support, and she just can't pay this bill. While I could, I have been paying for his kids for along time and refuse to do it anymore. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Parent's Responsibility for Adult Child's Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

    Your wife's daughter was 21 at the time of her doctor's visit - a full, legal adult, responsible for her own bills.

    I am unaware of any statute requiring a parent to pay for his or her adult child's unpaid medical bills.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)

    Default Re: Parent's Responsibility for Adult Child's Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

    Agree. Having your adult child on your health insurance policy is not (by itself) a statement that you are assuming liability for their medical expenses as long as you don't sign anything taking responsibility for them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Lightbulb Re: Parent's Responsibility for Adult Child's Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

    I agree that the daughter is responsible for her own debt.

    Is the daughter still in school or was she at the time the debt was incurred?

    Does your wife's divorce agreement address the fact that he is responsible as long as the child is in school or does it say until she's 18 or otherwise emancipated?

    The medical facility or medical professional in most cases is under no obligation to bill the ex. Your wife would , if she were responsible, have to pay the debt then go after the ex herself for reimbursement.

    Has anyone let the collectors know that she was 21 at the time?

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