– from Henry N. in Hartland, WI

Question Details:

During the last few months of my marriage, I was injured in an automobile accident. The money was placed in a joint account. We have now agreed to a divorce. My question is, can my personal injury settlement be considered as marital property and divided between us?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Any financial property obtained during the marriage can be considered marital property to be divided.However, when it comes to personal injury settlements, it is not always an equal split.

The injured party more than likely will be awarded the larger share. It is also dependent upon the actual injuries suffered, whether any injuries are permanent, lost wages, the ability to work, etc. In the case of Mack v. Mack, 108 Wis. 2d 604, 323 N.W.2d 153 (Ct. App. 1982), a man was injured in a motorcycle accident during the marriage, and both parties used the awarded settlement as part of their income. The divorce judgment awarded the husband a larger share based on those factors. The wife, however, was entitled to a portion on the grounds of accumulated finances during the marriage which made the settlement joint marital property.

You are going to want to meet with a divorce attorney to go over the specifics of your personal injury settlement.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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