3 Ways to Protect Your Personal Injury Award or Settlement During Divorce
Posted on : June 7, 2017, By: Hildebrand Law
3 Ways to Protect Your Personal Injury Award or Settlement During Divorce
Nothing can be more satisfying than winning a personal injury case and receiving compensation for your losses from the incident. However, if you are going through a divorce or planning to dissolve your marriage, it is essential to determine what will happen to this compensation. Will you be able to keep the entire amount or will it be subject to a distribution like other community property?
Personal Injury Awards and Settlements
Personal injury settlements provide compensation for bodily harm and other damages that are caused by the negligence of the responsible party. The plaintiff is likely to be awarded compensation for:
Present and future medical expenses
Medical treatment bills
Damage to personal property
Loss of consortium
Future loss of earnings
Pain and suffering
Ways to Protect Your Personal Injury Award or Settlement During Divorce.
Ways to Protect Your Personal Injury Award or Settlement During Divorce
Depending on your case, a personal injury settlement can constitute a significant portion of your total combined assets. Several factors may determine whether a personal injury award should be divided between spouses during a divorce proceeding, including:
The date of filing for dissolution of marriage
The date of the accident
The allocation of money or whether the award was itemized
Whether you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state
In equitable distribution states, all property and assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse will be subject to division. The distribution is done in a way that the courts deem fair – mostly it is based on the contribution of each spouse to the total marital property.
In community property states, on the other hand, all property and assets obtained during marriage are considered part of marital property. Since the law dictates the assets to be owned equally by both spouses, it is subjected to division equally in a divorce as well. Even if both spouses keep their property in separate accounts, they will still be part of the marital property. Only those assets acquired before marriage will fall under the category of separate property.
How to Protect Your Injury Award During Divorce
Protecting Your Personal Injury Settlement During Divorce in Arizona.
Protecting Your Personal Injury Settlement During Divorce in Arizona
Here are three ways you can protect your injury settlement from being divided during your divorce:
1. Maintain a Separate Account: After winning a personal injury settlement, make a separate bank account to keep the award money. It is imperative that you do not mix this amount with the funds in your joint or community account unless you consult with your attorney. Doing so will not only keep your money from being re-allocated as part of your divorce but will also prevent the commingling of assets.
2.Consult your Attorney: If you are going through a divorce at the time of a personal injury settlement, make sure you discuss the possibilities with your injury lawyer. If you are working with a divorce attorney, inform them about the award so that they can provide legal advice to prevent it from distribution.
3.Opt for a post-nuptial or Prenuptial Agreement: With the help of a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement, you can designate personal injury awards as a separate property. This will keep the settlement amount from being considered as a community property during the divorce proceeding.
When settlements or awards for personal injury or any other claims are part of a divorce, matters tend to get out of hand. It is best to work with an attorney to evaluate ways to keep your spouse from taking away a share of your newly acquired asset.
If you have a question about divorce in Arizona, please call to speak to one of our experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona divorce attorneys at (480)947-4339.
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After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
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