You made it through litigation, and now you’re facing another unexpected obstacle in your life: divorce. Our experience at Milestone has shown that unfortunately, this situation is all too common. After their case concludes and their settlement money is about to arrive, many of our catastrophically injured clients find themselves at the beginning of a divorce.
A personal injury, combined with the rigors of litigation, can put a huge strain on couples and families. Statistically, divorce rates increase dramatically for couples devastated by a disabling injury. The rate is even higher among parents whose child becomes disabled.
A settlement recovery from a personal injury lawsuit is, of course, meant to cover the plaintiff’s related medical bills and other needs for the rest of his or her life. But without proper planning ahead of time, that money will likely be considered a marital asset during divorce. That means there’s a chance an injured plaintiff will have to share some of the money with his or her ex.
Protecting Your Settlement from Becoming a Marital Asset
Across various states, a statute of limitations (usually of six to nine months) bars claims from spouses. If your case is about to settle and you believe divorce is imminent, it’s critical to act immediately. A comprehensive settlement planning firm can guide you through the process of protecting your settlement and ensuring the full amount remains yours after divorce.
One avenue many of our clients take is an asset protection trust, which protects against judgments, creditors, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, and more. A structured settlement can also protect a plaintiff’s settlement, as it will guarantee payments are given only to the injured plaintiff, and the payments cannot be accelerated or assigned.
Many of our clients at Milestone have never gone through litigation. Sifting through information and the challenges of decisions like these can be overwhelming. Working alongside a settlement planner with experience, compassion and expertise will arm an injured plaintiff with knowledge and options to protect his or her money.
By putting the right protections on your settlement, a plaintiff can obtain financial stability and security, even in the face of divorce. He or she can then confidently focus energy on healing, improving quality of life, and working toward a brighter future.
About John Bair
John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.
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).