Does my ex-wife have any legal claim to settlement money if I filed the case while we were married?

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Does my ex-wife have any legal claim to settlement money if I filed the case while we were married?

I filed an FCRA lawsuit 2 years ago while married. My wife and I got divorced 10 months ago. My lawsuit was settled out of court last month. Does my ex-wife have any legal claim to the settlement funds? The case only involved me and didn’t have anything to do with my ex-wife. She was never involved in the case. Also, the lawsuit is not part of our divorce agreement and is not mentioned in it in anyway.

Asked on August 18, 2011 Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, and the way that you have phrased the question and the facts that you have presented here, I would say that your wife doesnot have a claim to the settlement if she has not involvement in it what so ever and as long as the effects of what happened that gave rise to the suit in no way adversely effected her as well.  The reasoning behind this - besides that it did not involve her - is that it was only an expectation of a settlement (or a hope of one) and not a sum certain at all when you were divorced. You can not split what does not or may not exist.  If your wife can move to modify the divorce settlement well that again depends on the facts.  Good luck to you. 


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