Personal Injury Settlements in Divorce
If you are injured, and if you receive a settlement or award as a result, those funds may be considered to be marital property when the marital assets and debts are divided. Whether the funds marital property will depend on the date of the injury.
If a party is injured before they are married, but funds are received during the marriage, those funds will be considered premarital property and would not be subject to division; however, if those funds are comingled with marital funds or otherwise gifted to the marriage, they may be deemed to be marital and therefore subject to distribution. If a party is injured during the marriage, meaning that the injury occurs after the date of marriage but before the date of separation, the funds awarded as a result will be considered marital property even if the settlement or award is paid after the date of separation. If a party is injured after the date of separation, then the funds received as a result are not marital and are not subject to distribution.
If a party receives funds from an injury sustained before or after the marriage, those funds may not be marital; however, the funds will be relevant to determining the distribution of the marital estate. The court will consider each party’s respective financial standing in determining what percentage of the marital assets will be distributed to each party.
How does the court address personal injury settlements in divorce cases? The date of the injury will determine whether the settlement is marital property. If you need assistance with your equitable distribution issue, call us at 610-892-3877.