in the settlement phase of a workers compensation case - should be a rather large settlement due to permanent disability and future surgeries -- marriage is not going well and hasn't been for some time -- looks like there will be a divorce
It very well could be. Discuss it with your divorce lawyer now and with WC attorney. Don't delay!
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I would recommend you Mr. Hoffman's advice.
No attorney client relationship has been formed until you sign a representation agreement.
I agree with Mr. Hoffman. Unless a divorce decree expressly indicates the comp claim is not part of the marital estate, you will be stuck with what the divorce decree spells out.
This is really more of a question for your divorce atty. I will change your category for you so that you get some responses from attorneys in that area of the law. I would think it would be smart to consult with a divorce atty now if you feel that this is going that direction so that you can do some planning.
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You definitely need to get a divorce attorney, if you don't have one. At the very least, you should talk to one so you know what your rights- and possibilities- are.As has been said the Workers' Compensation settlement could very well be a marital asset and you don't want your future WC benefits bound up by a divorce case.
My answers to this question are informal and partial due to the insufficient nature of the information exchanged. These answers do not make me your lawyer. In order to make me your lawyer you have to hire me, in writing. Answers given herein are necessarily brief and cannot be complete or reliable legal advice until (a) an attorney-client relationship has been established, and (b) until complete information has been given pursuant to that relationship..
The Illinois Supreme Court has held that a workers' compensation claim that accrues during the marriage is marital property, and therefore subject to division in a divorce proceeding. However, the Judge in the divorce case is not required to divide the workers' compensation award equally. The Judge only has to make an equitable distribution of the marital property, and the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that the Judge should consider the age, health, employability, and future needs of each of the parties before making a division of the marital property. The Judge in the divorce case will have a great deal of latitude and could well find that a large majority, if not all, of the workers' compensation award should be awarded to the injured spouse, after weighing all of the relevant factors. Your other assets and debts will also factor into the Judge's allocation. You should speak with an attorney who is well versed in both workers' compensation law and family law right away in order to protect your interests.
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