A divorce can become even more difficult if a couple owns assets that are not easy to divide fairly. Personal injury settlements are one of the most difficult assets to divide because they are not always considered marital assets, as a divorce attorney Phoenix AZ trusts can explain. The money awarded in a personal injury settlement is intended to cover the expenses that resulted from the injury. After paying for expensive medical bills, there might not be much money leftover.
However, a personal injury settlement can also cover lost wages. Because wages are considered marital assets, they may be divided between a couple in the event of a divorce.
Exceptions to the Rule
Courts have included personal injury settlements as marital assets in cases where the settlement primarily covers lost wages, funds are put in a joint account and used to pay household expenses or the settlement is meant to pay for damage to marital property.
Protecting a Settlement
No matter how good your marriage is right now, it may be in your best interest to protect your personal injury settlement. You may want to keep the settlement in a separate account to prevent it from becoming communal property. It is also beneficial to keep records of how the settlement money is being spent. If you can show you are using the money for specific needs resulting from the personal injury, such as medical bills, you will be more likely to keep it if you divorce.
A personal injury case can be quite complex, so it is a good idea to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. He or she will have your best interests in mind and help you protect your settlement in the event of a divorce. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today to discuss your case. The majority of personal injury lawyers provide free initial consultations, so you do not have anything to lose by speaking to one.
During the initial consultation, be prepared to answer several different questions about your case, such as the amount of your personal injury settlement and how you have been using the money thus far. The more details you provide about your case, the better your lawyer can help you. If you have questions of your own during the consultation, such as how much experience the lawyer has, you should not be afraid to ask them.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into personal injury settlements and marital property.