Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Medical Debt

The Only Thing I Got Out of Our Short Marriage Was His Debt. – Sabrina

“Dear Steve,

Married 2/09, Surgery 4/09, Separated 9/09, Divorced 8/10

My husband had surgery right after we married. We are now divorced, and he has not paid a penny on any of the bills for the surgery. Collection agencies have been coming after me. In my divorce, it states that he is responsible for a specific collection (that is now being taken out of my paycheck via garnishment) and anything else in his name.

I got a call from a collection agency today, about another surgery related debt…they stated that they spoke with my ex husband, and he directed them to me. Stated that they should collect from me.

He pays child support via pay witholding, and this is appearing as a garnishment, therefore, they come after me, because he can’t pay more than one garnishment at a time. He will be paying child support for another 3 years.

Does this mean that for the next three years, I can get garnishment after garnsihment on his debt, while he skates away scott free?

I am a single parent, working part time, hardly making ends meet the way things are now… He makes double what I do, and hasn’t paid anything towards any of this debt. I can’t take much more of this… It’s ruinining me, financially, and draining me emotionally.


Dear Sabrina,

Okay, stop, pause, and take a deep breath. We’ll get to the bottom of this together.

Your first stop needs to be a local attorney and preferably you can find a local one through the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

The hospital debt situation seems to hinge on who signed for being personally responsible for the debt when he entered the hospital. Although not impossible, I find it hard to believe that you may has agreed to be liable for his debt when he went in for surgery.

If you were never personally responsible for the surgical debt then a good attorney can get the garnishment and judgment vacated but time is of the essence to deal with this.

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Talk to a local lawyer, get a review of your situation and report back in the comments.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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