Do I have a right to any of my wife’s settlement money?

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Do I have a right to any of my wife’s settlement money?

My wife and I are separated but are
still married. I live in Zephyrhills
Florida. Nearly two years ago she had a
car accident and she was not at fault
and is currently in the middle of a
lawsuit which is about to settle. Do I
have a right to any of the settlement
and if I don’t do I at least have a
right to know whether or not she has
settled already because she has
instructed the attorney not to disclose
any information to me.

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You have no right to money from *her* claim for *her* injuries and losses--being married does not give you a right to your spouse's personal injury claim. If you spent joint money or your own personal money on her medical care or to fix her car, you could joined in her lawsuit (or sued separately, though then your two lawsuits would generally have been jointed, or combined, by the courts) for your losses, but the key is, you had to assert a claim in the litigation for your own losses--you are not entitled to her compensation for her losses.
Her attorney works for her: if she has told the attorney to not discuss the matter with you, the attorney may not legally or ethically tell you anything.


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