– from Laura N. in Glendale, WI

Question Details:

I'm in the process of getting a divorce. During the marriage, I was in a work-related accident. My husband and I paid for an attorney 50/50 from our joint account. That case is still on going, and it looks like the divorce will be final long before the accident case is settled. Is my personal injury settlement divisible even after a final divorce judgment?

Family Law Attorney Response:

In some cases, depending on the specifics, yes it can be. This is demonstrated in the case of Richardson v. Richardson 139 Wis. 2d 778, 407 N.W.2d 231 (1987).

This case saw a court of appeals reverse a decision that saw to it that, among other factors, any recovery of monies that advanced the lawsuit would be divisible by both parties equally, but, pain & suffering, and the loss of future earnings would be property of the wife alone. The court of appeals, and subsequently the supreme court, found that the entirety of the settlement should be divisible between both parties. This is only an example as to how a similar case played out.

My advice is to seek legal representation right away in order to prepare for your property division proceedings.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.Trisha Festerling, J.D.
Family Law Attorney