As a general principle of law, the parents are liable to the hospital for a child's medical bills. The hospital doesn't care where the money comes from, they just want to get paid. They can come after both parents or either parent. As between two divorced parents whose decree requires them to split medical bills fifty-fifty, that's between the two parents. A hospital is not limited to only collecting fifty percent of a bill from each parent. Can you imagine if the hospital had to get into the details of the divorce decree for each child of divorced parents? That would be just nuts. Or let's imagine one of the spouses is broke. That wouldn't, that shouldn't, mean the hospital can't collect half of the bill for the services it rendered. The general principle is, each parent is on the hook for the WHOLE BILL, and then, between themselves, they settle up according to the bill-splitting provisions in the decree.
Not legal advice, just my two cents based on general principles of law. I don't practice law in Missouri and don't hold Missouri licensure. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who does.
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