Like many states, Texas is a community property state. This means that all property in a marriage is considered community property unless proven otherwise. So the question is, what happens when a spouse receives personal injury settlement? The general rule in Texas is that a lump sum settlement for personal injury is presumed community property, if you are unable to prove what portion of the settlement is separate property.
In Texas, all property in a marriage is presumed to be community property, unless proven otherwise by clear and convincing evidence. Specifically, physical pain and suffering damages, mental pain and anguish damages, disfigurement, loss of a spouse’s love and companionship is considered to be a spouse’s separate property. Lost wages, medical expenses incurred during the marriage, damages to your credit, damages to property owned by the community estate, disability insurance payment, and workers’ compensation benefits are considered community property.
Following are five (5) ways you can protect your personal injury settlement during a divorce, or at least part of it:
1. First and foremost, the recipient of the personal injury settlement must make sure that he or she is able to breakdown the settlement and prove what portion of the settlement is separate property. To be able to do this, the spouse must be heavily involved in his or her settlement. He or she must request her attorney to provide the breakdown to her so she can successfully present that evidence, if necessary.
2. Secondly, at the onset of the case, a spouse can also request the attorney to allocate the damages that will be demanded and recovered from your personal injury settlement that goes towards your separate property. The spouse can request a divorce lawyer Arlington TX trusts for the live pleadings and settlement demand in the matter to present as evidence.
3. Thirdly, the spouse should make sure the release from the personal injury attorney specifically states the recovery received for damages that would be considered community estate and separate estate. The spouse can also ensure that the other spouse signs the release so he or she is aware about the proceeds being a separate property.
4. Fourthly, the spouse must maintain an individual, separate bank account in which he or she deposits the separate proceeds so he or she can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the proceeds are separate property.
5. Lastly, if the divorce is an amicable one, you may be able to get a spousal agreement where you can keep your personal injury settlement by getting your spouse to sign an agreement stating the same.
If you have any specific questions in regards to your personal injury settlement in divorce, contact the experienced family and personal injury attorneys at Brandy Austin Law Firm for a remarkable representation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into protecting your personal injury settlement during a divorce.