Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Collection Agency, but it isn't really my debt

My ex-husband is supposed to cover my kids' medical bills ( i think) and health insurance.
He just stopped paying - not the premiums but the bills that I forwarded to him.
Now I have collection agencies after me. Should I pay, and take this matter to court, or not pay and take this matter to court? I haven't called my lawyer, since I am waiting for him to call me about something else, and it costs so much to call him.
This isn't the only thing he is not doing, either. While he buys the kids cell phones and hands them 100 dollar bills!

Answer Question

Asked by Lovey1234 at 3:55 PM on Jan. 16, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 6 (131 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • It's time to go to court =) You need to pull out the divorce decree and see what each person is supposed to pay, and if he isn't covering his share, go to court.

    I would also sue for attorneys cost, because this is his fuck up, not yours.

    Answer by Itsonono at 3:58 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • if he's supposed to be paying the medical expenses, you should have it in writing, and his name should be on the bills as the payer. this is something that 'he said he would do it' is good for. you should have it in writing/court order/etc. otherwise, you could send me the bills and i could refuse them just as easily. IDK what you should do other than immediately call the collectors and work out a payment schedule FOR YOU, whether he pays or not. apparently your name is on the bills as the guardian/ its your credit/name that is being ruined by not paying them. you can work out the details with him later, but for now, you need to call the agency and see what little/month you can start paying.
    also, as he's handing them $100 bills, put them in their savings account..that way, you/they have money for when its needed.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 4:03 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • If you take them to the doctor or hospital as far as the doctor or hospital is concerned you have to pay. They will file with his insurance but you are responsible for that too if there are problems. It sucks.

    You can find out from your county child support division if there is anything you can do without hiring a lawyer. They may have a system in place to get the money from the father if the amount is enough.

    Answer by Gailll at 4:14 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • You will be the one responsible for paying, but he is the one that has to reimburse you. Thats how my divorce decree is anyway. If you didnt show him the bills and didnt make sure he knew, then that isnt his fault.

    Mine is 50/50. I cover half of the bills and he gets the other half to take care of, but in the mean time you still have to make sure your side is paid and then wait for him to pay you back.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:16 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Here's the thing - if the debts are in the kid's names, legally, you are both liable for them. The divorce decree is a civil matter between you and your ex, and is not legally binding to the creditor. If they are nice, and you can provide them with the decree, as well as complete contact info on your ex, they may leave you alone, but ultimately you are both responsible, and they have the right to demand payment from either or both of you. Once it's paid, then it is up to you to collect the money you put up from your ex.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:16 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Whatever Notpanicking is saying its true.

    Debts are never in a kids name. Its illegal to do that. There has to be a guarantor, but regardless whatever is said in the div dec will override anything else.

    And as for everything being up to both of you? That isnt particularly true either. It depends on who the guarantor is.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:19 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • not*

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:20 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Is the bills in your name or his(your EX)? If the bills are in your name they are your responsabitity, they will go on your credit report and make your credit bad.

    Answer by louise2 at 4:23 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • If it is a court order that he pay for the medical bills and insurance, then he is required by law to do as such. If he isn't paying then you need to take him to court and force him to do as the court originally ordered him to do. Ontop of that you need to put those bills in his name, or make sure the medical office knows that he is responsible for those bills. They shouldn't be under your name if he is supposed to be paying for the bills. That is your credit he is ruining by being neglegant.

    Talk to the court. See what they suggest. I personally would pay them just to get them off of my credit, so that it isn't ruined. Then have the court force him to reemburse me the money.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 4:28 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

  • Debts are never in a kids name.

    Yes they are, they are not responsible for them, but they are debts earned for services provided to the child. It's how they differentiate who is responsible for them. If mom goes to the ER, it's on her alone, if the kid goes, it's on her and the father as long as they are both listed as guarantors. The hospital/insurance are not legally bound by a divorce decree. It has zero to do with them. It would be like a friend borrowing money, signing papers to say they'd pay it back, and then you trying to tell your creditors you can't pay them until your friend pays you back. Ultimately it's the ex who will end up back in court over it, but in the meantime, the creditors have the legal right to pursue the mother for payment up to having wages garnished. After they're paid, collecting the money she puts out from the ex is entirely up to her.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 7:48 PM on Jan. 16, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.

Next question in General Parenting
Kids and guns

Next question overall (Beauty & Style)
Eyebrow threading?