Before the early 1900’s when married women had few rights to own property or contract without their husband’s permission, the answer was a resounding "no." However, women’s rights repealed the Doctrine of Necessaries and the question of whether "spouses should have joint responsibility for their separate debts, since a wife could own property and contract to pay for her own necessaries changes the face of responsibility. But, in Illinois the answer is a clear maybe. The Il. Rights of Married Persons Act states: Neither husband or wife shall be liable for the debts or liabilities of the other incurred before marriage, and (except as herein provided) they shall not be liable for the separate debts of each other . . " This exception leaves the door open for special inclusions. "Payments agreed to in writing will obligate a spouse of the decedent" (750 ILCS 65 / 15(a)2(A), but the in the context of services ordered by the other spouse or for the health, welfare, and well being, of the other spouse, such as nursing care, family expense, hospital, funeral, and legal fees must be paid by the surviving spouse. So, in essence, at least part of the Doctrine of Necessaries remains in effect to this day, at least in Illinois. Therefore, even though you may not be liable for your spouses personal contracts, you are liable for his "necessaries." From the facts you’ve detailed, I would say you are obligated.

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