Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Indiana

Am I responsible for her debts?

Am I responsible for any debts that my wife has incured? I was sued recently for some of her medical debts and I settled.After a few people told me that I shouldn't be held responsible for any of her bills that are in her name, I began to wonder. Do I have to pay for her bills in the future? I never signed any agreements. When a bill collector calls about her debts, they request to talk to me and threaten me with garnishments,lawsuits,etc. They tell me that as her husband I am legally responsible for them and they don't have to go after her. Are they right about this? Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Asked on 4/20/04, 10:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Eric Southward Southward & Haggard

Re: Am I responsible for her debts?

Well, under the "doctine of necessities" you can be held liable for marital debts that are deemed necessary. Most medical debts are generally held as a necessity. So although the doctine is rarely invoked, a spouse can be held liable for their spouse's medical debts under this doctrine. I suspect though that you have the health insurance and even though she was admitted under her name, yor ins. was the billing company. If you think you don't have to pay, then challenge them, but seek the advice of an attorney first.

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Answered on 4/20/04, 10:55 am

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