If my estranged wife and child were in a accident a few years ago, am I entitled to a part of the settlement award?

My wife and I are legally married but currently have been separated for about 5-6 months. She just received a settlement of $50,000. Since we are legally married and because my child was also involved aren’t I entitled to at least half of the settlement money? Also I have a document from 2013 from court with her lawyer stating fake facts and untrue statements concerning our relationship and marriage at the time. I want to know my legal rights so I can go about the situation correctly.

Asked on September 18, 2014 under Personal Injury, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is my understanding of Virginia law that the proceeds from her personal injury settlement are considered a marital asset. As for your child, the funds are his or hers and would generally be placed in an account determined by the court until he or she is of legal age to have them.  Determining if you are entitled to any of your spouse's funds one would have to take in to account many factors such as if you have been paying child support or if you did anything to help support your wife during the time after her accident or if you have been contributing to household bills, etc. It is not a "yes" or "no" answer given your situation. 

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