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Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
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Under Ohio law, is a spouse responsible for the other spouses

Resolved Question:

Under Ohio law, is a spouse responsible for the other spouse's medical bills prior to a divorce even if the spouse being treated signed the financial obligation forms with the hospital? Second, is it legal to sign the other spouse's name as being financially responsible for any medical treatment for children and spouse if only one is employed and carried the medical insurance through an employer? Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question.


Ordinarily, in common law (as opposed to community property) states, only the signing spouse may be held liable for the debt. However, some states, including Ohio, still operate under the doctrine of necessaries. Under that doctrine, a spouse may be held liable for debts incurred during the marriage if they were necessary to the health and living conditions of the spouse and family. This may include medical debts, depending on the circumstances.


Regarding your second question, it is not legal for a spouse to forge the other spouse's signature, if that is what you're asking. If you are asking whether it is legal for a medical provider to hold a spouse liable who is uninsured, yes, that is legal. However, if the other spouse has insurance coverage that covers the incident, the claims can be submitted to that insurance company.

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the answer, although to clarify, forging someone's name isn't the question (illegal, unethical, etc.). Navigating the medical billing system -- legally -- and avoiding long-term detrimental consequences to the children and family as a unit, all working toward positive solutions with insight, forethought and care is the goal. Thanks again.
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX't sure I understood the second part of your question. If I can provide more information, please let me know.



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