As a law firm who practices both personal injury cases and divorces, we know that people going through a divorce are concerned about their assets and how the assets will be divided in a divorce. A common question for those who have been involved in a car accident case, or any other personal injury case is what happens to the personal injury settlement check? Most states give at least some consideration to the spouse that was not injured, meaning the personal injury award generally belongs to both spouses.
One of the ways to protect a personal injury award is by either doing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement otherwise known as a prenup or postnup . If your personal injury award has already been given, or it will be given before you get married, then the settlement would be considered separate property and you would not have to worry about doing a prenup. However, if you expect your personal injury settlement to be awarded after you get married, or if you expect you may be in a common law marriage relationship, then you should consider doing a prenup to protect that personal injury award as separate property that would belong to you. If you are already married and get involved in an accident after your marriage and expecting a personal injury award, then you will need a postnup instead of a prenup.
Other than doing a prenup or postnup, be sure to follow other ways to protect your personal injury award such as keeping a separate bank account for the money awarded. Following these kinds of tips have commonly helped protect award like these in divorce proceedings from becoming a marital asset.
If you have any further questions or concerns about your divorce process and how your personal injury settlement may be divided in a divorce, contact a skilled divorce lawyer in North Texas or else where before proceeding any further.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from A.T. Law Firm for their insight into if and how to define a personal injury award in a pre- or postnuptial agreement.