If my spouse and I are divorcing is she entitled to any workers compensation settlementthat Imight receive?

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If my spouse and I are divorcing is she entitled to any workers compensation settlementthat Imight receive?

We were separated 1 year prior to my injury at work.

Asked on July 11, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your wife's spousal rights remain the same as if you were in a stable marriage (unless there is a legal separation agreement to the contrary).  However, if the settlement is to compensate for injuries, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or medical bills that do not have any impact on the marital estate, then it is considered separate property and should be fully awarded to the injured person. 

In some state courts however, it has been held that a personal injury settlements ( and workers some awards would be similarly treated) is marital property if it is for compensation for lost wages and medical bills that have an impact on the marital estate.  Furthermore, in cases where there is a lower settlement amount than what would have otherwise occurred (i.e. due to low policy limits), a court in its discretion is within its right to allocate a portion of any such award to lost wages even though the settlement indicates that it is for personal injury only. At this point you should consult directly with a personal injury attorney in your area.


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