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Do I have to pay for my 20 year-old son's drug rehabilitation expenses?

Buffalo, NY |

My ex-wife has just taken my 20 year-old son to a 30-day drug rehabilitation program. He dropped out of high school and moved out on his own and does not go to college so he is not covered on mine or my ex-wives medical insurance and has no coverage. Shortly before he was admitted to rehab he was evicted from his apartment and moved back to his mothers home. Am I responsible to pay the bill (up in the area of $30,000.00) for the drug rehabilitation?

Attorney Answers 1


When your ex-wife admitted him did she sign the admission papers or a contract? I am not aware of any law in NY that would impose liability on a parent for services rendered to a non-cohabitating adult child outside of a contract -- that is also assuming that the rehab center is in NY. It may be out of state and that state's law may come into play. For the time being, I would analyze this as a contract question. Did you agree or represent to anyone that you pay this? Did you implicitly make such a representation to you ex by agreeing to this course of action? Did you have any involvment at all with the decision to admit your son into rehab? If there is not agreement or representation that you would contribute or pay, I would look to the rehab center's admissions policies and papers to determine how they expect to get paid and whether your ex represented to the center both parents would contribute or assumed that liability herself.

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