Can I Protect my Personal Injury Award in Divorce? Even though 90% of all people in this country marry by the age of 50, a surprisingly large number of these marriages do not last. Data shows that approximately 58% of all Ohio marriages end in divorce. Divorce is seldom easy and involves various challenging processes including the division of marital assets. If you received funds from a personal injury settlement during the marriage, you likely have questions about whether you will be able to keep this amount in the divorce. The following briefly discusses how property is divided during Ohio divorces as well as how personal injury settlements are treated during this complicated legal process. If you have questions, Kruger & Hodges, Attorneys at Law is a personal injury law firm in Hamilton, Ohio that may be able to help.
Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that Ohio courts divide marital property between former spouses in a manner that is deemed fair. Courts recognize two types of property that are owned by married couples — marital and separate property.
Marital property includes property that is acquired by the couple during the marriage and includes all real and personal property owned by one or both spouses, any interest that the spouses have in real estate or personal property, and any income and appreciation on separate property.
Separate property includes things like an inheritance received by one spouse, any property acquired before the marriage, passive income from separate property, property excluded through a prenuptial agreement, and any gifts received by one spouse or the other during the marriage. If a spouse does not carefully structure asset ownership, however, separate property can be distributed as community property.
Many personal injury awards in Ohio are classified as separate property. There are, however, some unique factors to consider about these awards, which include:
If you need the help of a lawyer to protect your personal injury award in divorce, you can reach Kruger & Hodges 24 hours a day at our Hamilton, Middletown, or Eaton offices, or by calling (513) 894-3333.