• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Medical bills for children

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



I live in Kansas, my children and my ex live in Arkansas. In the past, my ex has taken the children to receive medical services, and gave my name and address as the responsible party for billing. I questioned this practice, but she continued to do it. It came to an end a couple of years ago, when she got a medical card, so the State of Arkansas paid for their medical services. A few months ago, she took herself off of said services.

Today, I received an envelope containing several medical bills for my children. My name is listed on the bills as the responsible party, but the address shown is that of my ex-mother-in-law (also in Arkansas). The bills, most of which are six months old or older, threaten to take me (?) to collection if unpaid. However, I never received the bills until they were VERY late.

My questions are: Who is responsible for payment? Can my credit be affected by this action? Do I have any recourse?


Senior Member
This doesn't sound right to me.

I 2 people who can give really good advice about this.

Copy and paste this in the Custody, Support and Visitation section and address it to kat or haiku. They have pretty good knowledge about this.


Senior Member
Ahhh HECK NO. Do NOT pay those bills. You sit down right now and start writing letters demanding that they verify to you your signature on forms guaranteeing payment and authorizing treatment…of course they can not do this. It is illegal for them to bill you for services you did not authorize. Tell them that not only did you not sign, but you don’t even live in the ding dang state in the first place Direct them to the proper party for payment (also include her social security number if you have it). Spend the extra money sending them certified mail w/return receipt. In addition, check your credit history w/the big three.

As for who is responsible for what portion if any of the medical bills, check your divorce documents or child support documents. On average, the NCP is usually responsible for 50% of unpaid medical bills. She needs to submit to you, a copy of the paid bills in a TIMELY manner for you to pay your share to her also in a TIMELY manner. If she’s going to throw a fit, file a motion to clarify. Ask that she not only submit to you a copy of the paid bill, but a copy of the CANCELLED check within 30 days of treatment. If not submitted within that time period, she forfeits your portion of the payment.

I went thru all this b.s. with our biotroll…and it really burn my fanny to hear that others are playing the same game. We ended up paying thousands before I found out just what my husbands rights were.

Good Luck!




Yes it is correct in all States. You have the Right to challenge any bills that you recieve check the back of the statement or call the Phone # and start the process, while you are on the phone inform them of your address and that you don't live in there State.

You also have a Right to be timely notified of any pending litigation and need to at least make a telephonic appearence at those hearing. If you don't you will be liable by default. If it is already on you credit you will have a hard time having it removed but threaten to SUE them if it's not removed.

But you must first make sure your divorce decree doesn't say that you are the one responsible for the Medical bills. If you are you have a Right to be informed at the time the charges are incured and you have some Rights to the Dr. if you have a Family Ins. plan.

Good Luck Brad


Senior Member
All states. You are responsible for insurance coverage, you are not responsible to the *provider* for co-pay or unpaid medical bills. You are probably (depending on what your divorce says) responsible to the CP for all or a portion of the medical bills. The doctors can't legally bill you, it falls under the fair credit protection act and possibly mail fraud. Same thing if you have your child say for visitation and the child becomes sick or injured. You have to pay the bills, they can't bill her...so it would be visa-versa in that case.
I'll post a website later that will help you w/your letters.



I find these replies interesting. DH went through a similar situation recently. DH carries insurance on SD. BM took SD to ER and had the bill sent to DH even though BM is required to pay the first $443 of uncovered medical expenses. After that, DH pays 57%. DH was unaware of any hospital visits.

DH rec'd a bill in the mail from the hospital. BM's name was listed nowhere on this bill and the bill didn't even say what SD had been to the hospital for. It was a bill for the co-pay. DH sent a letter cert. return receipt to the hospital. Nothing. Just another bill for the same thing a week later.

DH calls hospital and is told that when they rec'd the letter, it was just filed away. No one even saw it. And he was told that as long as he carries the ins. on SD, the hospital CAN and WILL come after him for the bill even though he signed NOTHING assuming any financial responsibility. Actually, he was told that "that's what he gets for carrying ins. on her"! Hello?

DH faxed a copy of the divorce decree to the hospital, and the rep said they would go after BM for the co-pay, but if she didn't pay it, DH would have to or they would turn BOTH of them over to the collection agency.

We're still amazed that you can just tell a hospital to send the bill to "anyone", and they'll do it. Hospital rep admitted to DH that they don't have time to check a file when a patient comes in for ER services. So, what about after they leave? When they mail out the bill? Can't check the file then? Should we have contacted the ins. co?

Sorry. Didn't mean to hijack the post. I'll just be glad when this mess is over with. What a migraine.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential