Is an insurance settlement marital property?

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Is an insurance settlement marital property?

Asked on January 13, 2013 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I assume that you are referring to a personal injury settlement. That being the case, as a general rule your spouse's rights will remain the same as if you were in a stable marriage (unless there is a legal separation agreement to the contrary).

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, the settlement is separate property and should be fully awarded to the injured person. That having been said, in some states, personal injury settlements are marital property in the following situations:

  • commingling assets by accepting the entire settlement in one check made payable to both parties;
  • compensation for lost wages;
  • and medical bills that have an impact on the marital estate.

Additionally, when there is a lower settlement amount than what would have otherwise occurred because of low policy limits or a lack of funds from the responsible party, a courtis within its authority to allocate a portion of the settlement to lost wages even when the settlement indicates that it is for personal injury only.
 
At this point you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area as to your specific situation.


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