May 22, 2017
Sadly, there are many reasons why couples decide to dissolve their marriage. Many cite adultery, cruelty, and growing apart from one another. The laws surrounding divorce vary by state. Some courts may grant a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The most prominent issues that come up after a divorce, except of course, for the heartbreak, are issues to do with:
- Alimony payments.
- Custody of the children. Who will have primary custody, the amount for child support payments, etc.
- Division of property. This will often lead to acrimony in what had been a fairly non-contentious divorce proceeding. When it comes to dividing property, courts usually consider several factors. Common factors include:
- Whether or not there is prenuptial agreement.
- Property acquired before the marriage.
- Each spouse’s direct and indirect contributions to the joint estate.
A spouse may be concerned that their personal injury settlement might become contested property in a divorce proceeding. There are several criteria that the courts may use to establish whether an asset should be considered marital or nonmarital. Ultimately, you may need to consult a divorce law attorney to determine how a personal injury settlement award is likely to be handled by the courts in your jurisdiction. Generally speaking, this is how it’s usually distributed:
- The court will consider whether the divorcing couple resides in a community property state or an equitable distribution state.
- Some courts have regarded personal injury settlements as only belonging to the individual who won the settlement.
- Some courts break down the settlement to determine what percentage should be shared between the divorcing spouses, and how much the personal injury victim can keep without sharing.
- If you have been awarded damages, it is important to differentiate immediately what percentage belongs to you or your spouse. This can made easier with legal guidance from a divorce lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on or personal injury claims lawyer.
2. Open a separate bank account dedicated for the use of holding the personal injury settlement funds. As much as possible, hold the funds in that account until the divorce proceeding is finalized and the court has resolved the issue of asset distribution. In some jurisdictions, if you were to deposit the money in a joint spousal account, you may not be able to claim any of the funds as your own.
3. Get spousal consent. If for example, you are a resident of a community property state, it is important that you get your spouse’s consent to not claim all or a certain portion of your settlement. Have this agreement in writing, dated, and signed as well as notarized. If the divorce is not completed in a civil manner, this can become invaluable.
Ultimately, it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel from a skilled divorce attorney who can advise you on how to protect your personal injury settlement based on your unique situation.