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xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
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I live in Josephine County, Oregon. My ex husband made three

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I live in Josephine County, Oregon. My ex husband made three trips to the hospital before we got divorced, and I was under the impression that he had filled out a medical write off form at the hospital due to low income, but apparently he hadn't. I did not take him to the hospital any of these times, and therefore not sign any paperwork indicating responsibility for payment. I never received notification that there were medical bills to pay, or that it was going to go on my credit, although it is possible they sent letters and I never received them because I was at work while he was at home. I checked my credit report because I want to get a home loan, and it said I had a court judgement for almost nine thousand dollars. I contacted the collection agency that bought the debt from the hospital and they said it showed the hospital trips to be his, and because we were married at the time I was responsible for them, and it was now up to fourteen thousand. I checked my divorce papers and found only one paragraph about debt that said "Each party shall be responsible for the payment of all debts incurred by him/her individually since the date of the separation; all debts which are distributed to him/her by the court; and all debts which are secured by property distributed to that party. Also, if any creditor asks the spouse/domestic partner not responsible for a debt to pay all or a portion of it, and s/he does so, the spouse/domestic partner responsible for that debt shall reimburse the other spouse/domestic partner for any monies s/he paid to the creditor after the date this judgement was entered." My question is: Am I responsible for all of this debt, half of this debt, or none? And if I am responsible, do I have to pay the interest accrued on this debt?
Thanks for using It will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Did your ex go to the hospital AFTER the date of your separation?

Did your ex disclose the medical bills to the court and/or the attorneys when your divorce settlement was agreed upon?

Were your other debts addressed by the court? For example, if you had a joint credit card, did your divorce decree or the court address who would pay for it?

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He went to the hospital before we were legally separated or divorced. He did not disclose the medical bills to the court, and there were no attorneys. I got the papers at the courthouse, he signed them before a notary and gave me custody of our children, and we were done. There were no changes or stipulations made to the paperwork. We had no properties or other joint debt, so none of that was addressed.


I apologize for the delay. I was briefly called away from the computer.

I want to look up a couple of things for you. I will be back asap with an answer.

Thanks for your patience.

In Oregon, the property division (debts and assets) cannot be changed after the divorce without proof of one party’s failure to disclose a debt. However, the divorce statute refers to failure to disclose an asset. It does not speak to failure to disclose a debt. But, you may be able to infer that one's failure to disclose a debt is akin to failing to disclose an asset.

The Oregon divorce court will divide your marital debts in whatever way it finds “just and proper.” Division of marital debt is most often divided equally between you and your spouse in a divorce in Oregon. However, if there is CLEAR evidence that the debt was entirely incurred by just one spouse, then the Court can assign the entire debt to the party who solely incurred the debt.

If you have clear evidence that your ex intentionally failed to disclose in your divorce settlement that he had incurred a debt to the hospital, then you MAY be able to file a Petition/Motion to Modify Property Settlement for Defendant/Plaintiff's Failure to Disclose Debt.

If you do have to file a Motion/Petition, you must use the same Caption as in your Divorce Judgment (Court, Parties, Case No., Judge) and title your pleading as Plaintiff/Defendant's (whoever you were in the divorce) Motion to Modify Property Settlement.

You must make your allegations in numbered paragraphs. Also, you may wish to use language similar to that provided below:

NOW COMES PLAINTIFF/DEFENDANT and for her Motion to Modify Property Settlement states as follows:

1. A divorce in this matter was entered by this court on xxxx date.

2. As part of the divorce judgment, Plaintiff/Defendant signed a property settlement that indicated that there was no marital debt over $15,000.00

3. Prior to the entry of the Judgment of Divorce, Plaintiff/Defendant went to xxxx Hospital on xxxx date.

4. Plaintiff/Defendant received services for (name services and diagnoses)

5. Plaintiff/Defendant signed HIS name to ALL documents indicating that he would be responsible for any debt incurred as a result of any services rendered. *****It would be very helpful if you can get a copy of the documents that HE signed before receiving the services and attach the documents as an exhibit*****

6. Plaintiff/Defendant received ALL correspondence from xxxx Hospital regarding any services rendered and any debt that was owed to the hospital.

7. Plaintiff/Defendant KNEW that he had accumulated (the amount of money) in debt to the hospital PRIOR to the signing the property settlement.

8. Plaintiff/Defendant knowingly and intentionally failed to disclose the debt to Plaintiff/Defendant (you) prior to the signing of the property settlement that was entered by this Court.

9. As a result of Plaintiff/Defendant's intentional failure to disclose the debt prior to the signing of the property settlement, Plaintiff/Defendant (you) are now being threatened with a lawsuit to collect the debt that was incurred SOLEY by Plaintiff/Defendant. You may attach any correspondence from the hospital, collection agency or attorney as an exhibit.

10. As a result of Plaintiff/Defendant's intentional failure to disclose the debt, Plaintiff/Defendant's (you) credit has been negatively affected.

11. If Plaintiff/Defendant would have disclosed the debt prior to the signing of the property settlement, Plaintiff/Defendant (you) would have insisted that Plaintiff/Defendant would have been TOTALLY responsible for the debt. If Plaintiff/Defendant would not agree to that provision, Plaintiff/Defendant (you) would not have agreed to the property settlement.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff/Defendant (you) requests this Honorable Court:

A. Set a hearing in this matter.

B. Modify the Divorce Judgment to include that Plaintiff/Defendant is 100% responsible for the debt to xxxx Hospital.

C. Award Plaintiff/Defendant (you) costs and fees for having to file this Motion.

D. Award Plaintiff/Defendant (you) any other relief that is just and equitable.

Sign and date.

Make sure that you properly serve your ex with the Motion and any exhibits. Then, file a Proof of Service (available at the court) indicating the date and how your ex was served with the paperwork and date of hearing.

It is within the Court's discretion as to whether or not to grant your motion. Moreover, even if your motion is granted, you must supply the hospital and attorney/collection agency with the Order granting your motion. But, you can still be sued for the debt. However, if you are sued, you can then take your ex back to court and file a Motion for Contempt for his failure to pay the debt that was assigned to him.

Moreover, you may wish to contact an attorney in your area who specializes in family law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal cost. You can discuss the specific facts of your case, evaluate your options and decide how to proceed.

I hope you find this information useful.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!


***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!

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Thank you so much for the "good service" rating! It is greatly appreciated and I am glad that you found the information useful.

If you have future questions, you can specifically request me by name as the expert.

Thanks again,