Is medical malpractice settlement considered nonmarital property in Pennsylvania?

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Is medical malpractice settlement considered nonmarital property in Pennsylvania?

I was married in 1989. Suffered work related injury in 1996. Had surgery in 1996 and doctor almost severed nerve so I filed a medical malpractice suit as I had to have 2 surgeries to correct his mistake. In 2001 I received a settlement in which I placed in a savings account only in my name. I did not add or take out any of that money until after the date of separation. In 2003 we separated and now in 2009 he filed for a divorce and is requesting part of that settlement. Is he entitled to that settlement? It was for pain and suffering not bills or missed income as I was on workers comp.

Asked on May 23, 2009 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You need to discuss this with a divorce attorney.  I'm not a Pennsylvania lawyer, and marital property law varies from one state to the next;  other facts of the case might play a part in the answer to this question as well.  One place to find qualified attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com

In many states, though, money like this, that you have been careful to keep separate, isn't part of the "pot" that gets divided up.  After all, there's no way to divide up the pain and suffering that was compensated (more or less) with this money.


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