On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Going through a personal injury lawsuit is a complex process. Going through a divorce is also complicated. However, going through both a personal injury lawsuit while a divorce is pending becomes an entirely new situation that needs to be handled carefully. At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, our divorce attorneys in Fort Lauderdale want to discuss what you can do if you find yourself in a situation like this. We are here to protect you and ensure you are treated fairly throughout your divorce case.
Keep property division in mind in these cases
Florida is an equitable distribution state when it comes to property division during a divorce. This means that marital property will be divided in a manner that is fair, though this does not necessarily mean the property will be divided equally. Property that is considered “separate” does not need to be divided equitably between the two parties in Florida.
Marital property includes most assets gained while two people are married. If you are going through a personal injury lawsuit and expect to gain any monetary damages through a settlement or jury verdict, be aware that this may be considered marital property if the damages are awarded before a divorce is finalized. Any economic damages you recover through a personal injury claim will be divided equitably between you and your spouse.
What about non-economic damages?
If your personal injury lawsuit involves non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, these will not generally be considered marital property. For the purposes of a personal injury lawsuit, only the person who experiences the pain and suffering (i.e. the injured spouse) will receive these damages. They will not be split equitably in the same way the economic damages must be split.
However, there is a caveat to that. If the non-economic damages become commingled with other marital assets, they will become marital property that is subject to equitable distribution between the two spouses. For example, if you used any of the pain and suffering damages to make a car or mortgage payment, the amount you spent will be considered marital property.
Other considerations in these cases
Personal injury cases often involve testimony from an injured victim’s spouse. A spouse can often be beneficial when testifying to hell and injury changes a person’s lifestyle in his caused pain and suffering. If you are going through a divorce, you need to consider whether or not your spouse’s testimony will help or hurt your personal injury case.
We can help you through this
Divorce is a complicated and emotional experience for everybody involved. No two divorce cases are the same, and they require help from a skilled attorney who can help you navigate the entire process. At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, you can count on personalized attention from the moment you begin your initial consultation until your case is settled. Our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys are ready to get to work on your case and ensure that you are treated fairly. You can contact us by clicking here or calling 954-533-2756 for a free consultation.