Suffering an injury caused by a negligent party often results in a substantial
personal injury settlement to cover medical bills, lost wages, and even
pain and suffering. When an injured party is going through a
divorce, the most common question that comes to mind is, “Will my award
be subject to
Florida is known as an “equitable distribution” state, meaning
marital (shared) assets are divided between each spouse in a fair matter,
as opposed to right down the middle. Anything acquired during the course
of a marriage is considered marital property.
In general, personal injury settlements are classified as separate property
and not part of the marital estate in Florida. This means such awards
are not subject to property division.
However, there are several exceptions to this rule, which includes the
A portion of the settlement is itemized – If the award contains a description of which amount covers an
injured spouse’s lost earnings, then that compensation must be divided
in a divorce. The reason why is because income earned during a marriage
is marital property.
Personal injury compensation is commingled with other marital funds – If the money from the personal injury award is deposited into a joint
account, then the money from that account is used to fund marital expenses
(i.e. mortgage, car payment, utility bill, etc.), it will be difficult
to figure out which portion of the money of the joint account is from
A portion of the settlement is used to cover marital funds – In order to pay for ongoing medical expenses before a personal injury
case is a settlement, it is not uncommon to use marital funds to cover
the initial costs. When this occurs, compensation entitled to medical
expenses will be considered marital property.
Determining what is marital property and separate property can be an arduous
task, which is why an experienced family law attorney can provide professional
help. At the
Law Offices of Robert Stepniak, our Daytona Beach divorce lawyer can protect your rights and best interests
through the divorce process. We will do our best to help you obtain more
property and possessions once your divorce is finalized.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Daytona Beach,
contact us and schedule a free consultation today.