My husband and I got into an accident a week after I asked him for a divorce. We hired a lawyer and have a lawsuit going. He decided to stop going to the doctor because he said he wasn't hurt. Now that I have filed for divorce, he says he wants half of my settlement. The case isn't over yet and I don't even know if Im going to get anything. Is he legally entitled to half of my settlement at all? He's pushing for it and the personal injury lawyer says no but I need to make sure. He wants it in the papers and the mediator said she could write it up that he wants it and i don't think he should get it and let the judge decide but I don't even want it in the papers at all! Please let me know legally what he can do.
This really is a family, or divorce law, question and less of a personal injury question. You should consult a divorce attorney in FL for the best answer. Good luck.
Steven A. Schwartz
JOEL H. SCHWARTZ, P.C.
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The information provided is based solely on the question and facts presented. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. www.joelhschwartz.com
You should follow your attorney's advice. I do agree with your attorney. Compensation for a personal injury is in the nature of a reimbursement to you for losses resulting from the injury. It is not marital income nor a marital asset. Your husband would have a theoretical claim for "loss of consortium", i.e., loss of your marital services, due to your injury. Except in very severe injury cases where the non-injured spouse essentially becomes a care-giver for the injured spouse, loss of consortium claims generally have little value. Here, where you had already asked for a divorce before the accident, his claim would likely not have much value. His claim, if any, would be separate from yours, would not reduce your claim, and you do not legally have to share your recovery with him.
The above is general advice regarding applicable state law. It does not create an attorney-client relationship in any specific case.
You have counsel in this case and should really consult with him or her in regards to this issue. I agree with the comments made by my colleague regarding the consortium claim. Ther are, however, things like loss of earnings and othe expenses related to the motor vehicle collision that
may be viewed or treated as marital assets. Again, I would consult with your attorney and have any concerns addressed.
At this juncture it may be appropriate for each of you to have separate counsel. Your husband does not have an automatic entitlement to 50% of your recovery. He has his own derivative claim arising out of your injury. I am sure that your personal injury attorney must have explained this to you both when you first signed up with the attorney. I suggest you consult with your attorney and find out if he recommends obtaining separate counsel or whether or not, perhaps, a reasonable agreement can be worked out between you. You have a derivative claim for whatever injuries your husband may have received.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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