A law suit was filed prior to marriage but setteled after the marriage, are the proceeds of the suit community property in california?

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2009

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A law suit was filed prior to marriage but setteled after the marriage, are the proceeds of the suit community property in california?

Asked on June 8, 2009 under Family Law, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a California lawyer, and divorce laws vary somewhat from one state to the next.  More importantly, there are more facts needed to answer this question reliably, and you should consult an attorney in your area.  One place to find counsel is our website, http://attorneypages.com

In most states there would be two basic questions to consider.  First, what was done with the suit proceeds?  If they are put into an account that also has marital (community property) funds, this often means that the suit proceeds are "commingled" and become community property, since it's impossible to say whether money taken out of the account, from that point on, are "settlement dollars" or "non-settlement dollars."  If the suit proceeds are kept separate, then it may depend on what the settlement was for.  Many states make personal injury recoveries, for pain and suffering, the sole property of the victim, no matter when they are received.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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