A catastrophic injury is life-changing and emotionally draining — so much so that some plaintiffs find themselves at the end of a lawsuit and at the beginning of a divorce.
Divorce rates increase dramatically for couples devastated by a disabling injury. Why? A catastrophic injury, combined with the roller coaster of litigation, can put a huge strain on couples and families. It’s an altogether painful experience to go through.
If it’s happening to you, the last thing you probably want to think about is protecting the settlement that is about to arrive. Unfortunately, adequate planning is critical to ensure the money that’s meant for a lifetime of care does not get divided as a marital asset.
Protecting Your Settlement from Becoming a Marital Asset
How your personal injury settlement will be treated during the divorce process depends on many factors. Some of them include:
- The date you obtained or will obtain the settlement
- How much money you receive and what it’s meant to cover
- Whether you and your spouse live in a community property state or an equitable distribution state
- The presence of a statute of limitations in your state that bars claims from spouses
The hurdles you will meet in protecting your settlement depend on the exact circumstances of your unique situation. An experienced professional can wade through these factors and determine how to protect what’s yours.
There are many settlement planning options to protect your settlement recovery during divorce, such as:
- An asset protection trust that protects against judgments, creditors, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, and more
- A structured settlement that guarantees payments are given only to the injured plaintiff
If your case is about to settle and you’ve been talking about divorce, act immediately. A comprehensive settlement planning firm can help ensure the full amount of your settlement remains yours after the divorce is final.
Many of our clients have never gone through litigation. The challenges that arise can be overwhelming, especially if divorce is imminent. If you’re approaching settlement and believe you’ll be getting divorced, a settlement planner can lay out your options to protect your recovery. When you have that financial stability and security, you can then confidently focus on working toward a brighter future.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).