Are Personal Injury Settlements Considered Marital Property?

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If you’ve been awarded a personal injury settlement and are considering getting a divorce, you may wonder whether it’s considered marital property.

Read on to learn the answer and more.

Marital vs. Separate Property

When the court divides property and debts, the process is referred to as equitable distribution. When this happens, the court will classify assets as either marital or separate.

Marital assets are the assets you and your spouse obtain during the marriage, including investments you make and income you earn while married. It doesn’t typically matter who’s name is on the title of shared property.

The assets that you and your spouse owned before you got married or accrued during the marriage as a gift or inheritance are considered separate assets by the court.

Only marital assets can be divided between the spouses. Separate assets are not subject to division and will stay in possession of the original owner.

Personal Injury Settlements

The following types of settlement awards are typically considered marital property and will be divided equitably between the parties:

  • Awards intended to provide compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and other damages, like medical expenses or lost wages.

The following types of settlement awards are typically considered separate property and will be awarded to the original owner:

  • Awards intended to provide compensation for pain and suffering. This capital will be applied to compensate for any disability, disfigurement, or debilitation sustained.

While these are the standard practices that the courts tend to follow, the classification of assets as separate or marital will need to be proven by the party who alleges certain assets should be separate.

Each party has the opportunity to waive their right to payment if they so choose. This may be used as a bargaining chip when negotiating other portions of the divorce.

We Can Help

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, our attorneys are here to help. At Persinger & Persinger, L.C., we have handled countless personal injury cases, and we can help you with yours, too. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your case right away.

Contact us today at (304) 933-5660 to discuss the details of your case with one of our experienced Charleston attorneys.

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