Is My Spouse Legally Responsible for Medical Bills?

If you’re married and living together, you should help each other during testing times. It means that if one spouse gets any sort of physical ailment or health issue, the other one should be there ethically and morally. 

If your spouse doesn’t have a job or an income source, they might not be able to pay the medical bills arising from their illness. In this case, knowing what state’s laws apply to your situation is essential to make an informed decision about how best to handle it.

Let’s get into it!

Spouse liable for medical bills

Community Property States

There are four community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, and Louisiana. These states use the “residence” rule to determine who is responsible for paying medical bills incurred during the marriage.

In these communities, legal spouses are jointly responsible for all debts incurred during their marriage; however, only one spouse can be liable for any specific debt if they live in another state. 

When deciding which spouse should pay hospital bills related solely to themselves — that is, someone’s name appearing on their insurance policy but not attending any doctor visits — courts will look at factors such as age difference between spouses over time spent apart due.

Equitable States

In unequal states, the court may order a spouse to pay for a spouse’s medical bills if the other spouse cannot pay for them. Equitable states include California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington.

Limitation on Medical Bills

You will only be responsible for medical bills if you can afford them. If your spouse has a low income and you have a high income, then you’ll be responsible for paying most of the bills.

Suppose your spouse has an injury or illness that requires surgery and medication. In that case, the hospital will ask you to sign an agreement stating they will not file lawsuits against them. 

At the same time, they are hospitalized to get insurance coverage through Medicaid (the federal healthcare program). It means that if they go into debt because of this procedure and treatment plan, their creditors won’t be able to go after them until they return home from recovery!


If you’re in a community property state, and your spouse is not legally responsible for medical bills. In that case, you may want to talk to an experienced family lawyer about how You can resolve the situation. However, if the problem is equitable or will be decided by the courts, it may be best for both spouses to seek legal advice.