Does a husband who a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit have to split 50/50 with ex-spouse wife ifthe suitwas filed prior to divorce?

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Does a husband who a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit have to split 50/50 with ex-spouse wife ifthe suitwas filed prior to divorce?

Husband in car accident. Car belong to wife’s father. Husband got hurt. Husband in disability. Wife to care of husband. Lived in wife’s father’s house for free, during that time. Lawsuit started before divorce. Lawyer was found by ex-wife. Wife talked and wrote often to lawyer to make sure lawsuit went well. Evidence of communication. Wife got health insurance for husband. Paid all medical bills for husband with health insurance. Made appointments with all doctors. Took him to all his doctor appointments. Have a daughter together. Settlement after divorce.

Asked on July 29, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

And you want to go back and try and re-open the case correct?  The problem here - besides the basic problem of is it marital or separate property - is that there was no actual monetary amount that you could have distributed during the divorce.  You can not distribute a potential claim.  In California, the rule that governs ownership of marital property is this: community property is all property that was acquired during the course of the marriage.  Separate property is all property that was acquired before marriage, or after legal separation or through inheritance. Here the property - the settlement - was acquired after the actual divorce so I think that you are out of luck.  And I am sure that your loss of services claim fell after the divorce as well.  SO sorry.  Check with an attorney in CA to be sure.  


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