In a perfect world, your divorce would get settled quickly and not involve any complications. Unfortunately, however, there are several matters that can complicate your Illinois divorce, including a personal injury settlement. If you are waiting for your personal injury claim to settle while getting a divorce, you should educate yourself on how your settlement may be divided between you and your spouse.
Defining Marital Property in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, marital property refers to any assets acquired during a marriage. There are particular types of property that are non-marital, such as items received as a gift or inheritance to one spouse, property obtained before the marriage, property obtained after legal separation, legal judgments given to one spouse, and assets excluded from marital property by mutual agreement. One might assume that personal injury settlements would be considered non-marital property in a divorce. However, in the state of Illinois, personal injury settlements, workers’ compensation benefits and disability benefits can be, and often are, part of the marital estate.
Perhaps the most important element in determining whether a personal injury settlement should be considered in a divorce is the date of the incident that caused the injury. For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident before you got married, any compensation for your losses would be considered non-marital–even if you receive the settlement during your marriage.
On the other hand, if you were injured in a car accident during your marriage, any proceeds from a settlement or verdict would likely be considered part of the marital estate. This could even be true if the case is decided after the date of your divorce.
How Personal Injury Settlements Are Divided in an Illinois Divorce
In Illinois, personal injury settlements are not necessarily divided evenly in a divorce. The court will consider various factors when dividing a settlement between you and your spouse, such as your employability and future medical costs. For instance, if you suffered an injury that has made you permanently disabled, you would likely receive a bigger part of the settlement during divorce proceedings. Likewise, the largest share of reimbursement for your pain and suffering would most likely belong to you instead of being shared more equally with your spouse.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
If you have additional questions about how your personal injury settlement will be divided in your divorce, you should speak to a Naperville, IL divorce attorney. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., we understand how an injury settlement may complicate divorce proceedings and want to help you get through the process as smoothly as possible. We encourage you to call us at 630-416-7004 to schedule a free consultation.