You Can Be Held Legally Responsible For Your Spouse And Child’s Medical Bills And Education In Colorado

In Colorado parents and spouses can be held financially response for their kids and spouse’s medical and educational debts as well as other debts.   Legally, this is known as The Family Purpose Doctrine.

It’s codified in the Colorado Revised Statute at  CRS 4-6-110.   The statute states: “The expenses of the family and the education of the children are chargeable upon the property of both husband and wife, or either of them, and in relation thereto they may be sued jointly or separately.”  You can read all the annotations here: C.R.S. 14-6-110

This frequently comes up in my practice where the parents are sued by medical providers for medical services provided to their children.  This is especially true when they are uninsured or under-insured.

Another common example of this is when a spouse is admitted to a hospital for care.  Later, when the bill cannot be paid, the hospital sues both the patient and their spouse for the debt.  They are able to sue the spouse who did not receive the medical care because of this statute.

Medical debts have historically been one of the top causes of personal bankruptcy.  Fortunately, bankruptcy eliminates medical debt whether you received the treatment or are just being held financially responsible for it.

October 15th 2013 |

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