Is it legal for my husband to ask for half of my settlement money arising from a car accident that I was involved in?

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Is it legal for my husband to ask for half of my settlement money arising from a car accident that I was involved in?

I am married and had an auto accident in 2008. I want to know if my husband is legally entitled to my settlement money? If so what is the percentage?

Asked on June 8, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this question depends on how the state courts have ruled on the matter.  In New York, for example, the proceeds are not considered marital property so long as the money is not co-mingled or there is not an intent to make it marital property. In Illinois, however, the issue comes down to when the claim accrued or became a viable action.  The Illinois Supreme Court decided this question based upon section 503(a) of the law involving distribution  and they answered that question in the affirmative, stating that the plain language of Section 503(a) dictates that these claims are marital property if the claim accrued during the marriage. The Illinois Supreme Court also stated that if the claim accrued prior to the marriage it follows that the plain language of Section 503(a) dictates that it is not marital property. How much depends on many things and what is "equitable" given the circumstances.  Get an attorney. Good luck.


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