Who is responsible for my ex's care?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 16, 2016
Dwtnbrn asked...

What happens to a physically and mentally ill person if there is no one to take care of them? I am considering filing for divorce but do not want my children to be responsible for my husband's intensive caregiving.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

There are filial responsibility laws in just over half the states that specify that adult children are legally responsible for providing necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention if their parents are indigent, which may or may not apply in your situation.

If your current husband is totally unable to care for himself and there is no family member able to take on the duty, then you may ultimately want to look into getting an adult guardianship or conservatorship that would make another person responsible for caregiving decisions. You can find more information about this at www.caring.com/adult-guardianship.