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My ex filed for divorce in Aug last year, I was in a motorcycle accident after papers were filed. Is she entitled to any of the

Canton, OH |
Attorney answers 3

Posted

Absent unusual circumstances you have not mentioned in your narrative, no, she would not be entitled to any settlement you receive for personal injury. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@hotmail.com. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

Posted

It depends on the purpose of the settlement. For example, if it is for the replacement of past wages or pain and suffering, it could be viewed as marital. If it is comensation for future wages which will be lost, it would not likely be viewed as marital. The way the settlement agreement is drafted (and how the funds broken down in that agreement) is very important in terms of how much the Court will consider the settlement proceeds to be "marital" and therefore subject to division equitably. I highly advise that you have your personal injury attorney consult with a divorce attorney on exactly how to word the settlement agreement so that your interests are maximized in terms of what could be viewed as marital and what is not.

Alexandra Michele White

Alexandra Michele White

Posted

I should probably add that my answer reflects Colorado Law only.

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

Ms. White has made an excellent point! Although verdicts/settlements for damages pertaining to personal injuries are typically considered separate property, there is often much more involved in the "total" award or settlement, and to the extent local statutes and prior pleadings will permit, your interests will be well served by concentrating your settlement in those areas that would generally not be considered marital property.

Posted

In Ohio, marital assets are subject to equitable division. If an asset is earned during the term of marriage, then it is subject to division. The term of marriage is the beginning and ending dates of the marriage. That is, the date you got married until the date you are both physically and financially separated.

You state that the divorce is to be finalized April 9th. I assume this means you will have a final or merits hearing on that date. This means that there is already either a court order regarding the division of debts and assets or an agreement reached between the parties and reduced to writing.

The written agreement or the court's order will determine what if any part of the personal injury settlement is marital. It should be spelled out fairly clearly.

Please carefully review the court orders and or the separation agreement. If you have any questions or uncertainty now is the time to ask your attorney or consult with one to review the situation.

Mary Katherine Brown

Mary Katherine Brown

Posted

It is usually best to rely on the advice given by your local attorneys because they should be most familiar with the relevant, up-to-date information.

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