Who is Responsible for Medical Bills in a Divorce?

YUMA, Arizona. During a divorce, your attorney will help you and your former partner divide debts, assets, and, if you have children, assist you with your parenting plan. However, there are certain types of debts that pose unique challenges for divorcing couples. Medical expenses are one of them. Like student loan debt, medical expenses tend to benefit only one partner in the marriage. Who is responsible for paying for medical bills during divorce?

Arizona is a community property state, meaning that any assets or debts acquired during the marriage will be split during the divorce. This includes medical debt. So, even if only one person benefitted from the medical care, both parties may still be required to foot the bill and split the debt following the divorce. The exception to this is if your ex amassed medical bills before you married. In this case, the medical bill won’t be considered among your community property. If you have a prenuptial agreement that excludes medical bills from community property, you may be able to argue in court that you are not responsible for paying the bill.

Some couples choose to get divorced when they see medical expenses on the horizon. In some cases, the divorce is purely a financial decision, while in other cases, the marriage may have already been on the rocks and the chronic illness of one person in the marriage pushes things to the tipping point. There can be a great deal of guilt with divorcing a sick partner, but if your marriage is already in trouble, you might want to ask yourself whether you really want to end up being stuck paying for your ex’s medical bills should his or her health take a turn for the worse.

According to Forbes
, some older couples choose to get divorced when one partner needs long-term nursing care. Medicare will only pay for a spouse’s long-term care after a couple’s assets fall below a certain limit. Some financial planners might advise couples to get divorced to protect the assets of the healthy partner. In this case, the divorce is initiated from a financial perspective.

What about children’s medical expenses? According to credit.com
, children’s medical bills are the responsibility of both parents. Like child support payments, both parents are responsible for covering their children’s medical expenses. If one parent is wealthier than the other, then this parent may be required to pay more to ensure that the child maintains the standard of living he or she enjoyed while living with both parents. If you have questions about how you and your ex should divide your children’s medical costs, consider speaking to the divorce lawyers at Schneider & Onofry, P.C. in Yuma, Arizona.

Divorce can raise many complex financial questions. The law can offer some clarity to individuals facing disputes about assets and debts. If you are considering getting divorced in Yuma, Arizona, reach out to the divorce attorneys at Schneider & Onofry, P.C.

Schneider & Onofry, P.C.
207 W. 2nd St.
Yuma, AZ 85364