It is not uncommon for someone to experience an injury, whether at work or elsewhere, that eventually culminates in a settlement.  In this case, the injured party may receive either periodic payments under a payment schedule or a single lump-sum payment. When a recipient of settlement funds is seeking a divorce, they may wonder if these funds are considered marital property that is subject to an equitable division, or if these funds are non-marital property that is solely theirs to keep.

What could be considered marital property?

Marital property, meaning property subject to an equitable division upon divorce, will include:

  • Compensation for past wage loss
  • Reimbursement for past medical expenses

What could be considered non-marital property?

Non-marital property, meaning property that will be awarded solely to the party who owns it upon divorce, will include:

  • Future wage loss compensation
  • Future medical expenses compensation
  • Pain and suffering compensation (includes pain, suffering, disfigurement, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life)

Workers’ compensation settlements are often compensating for past loss of wages. If so, those settlement funds would be considered marital property. But personal injury settlements often compensate not only for wage loss, but also for medical expenses, and pain and suffering. It is important, therefore, for a recipient of settlement funds to distinguish what amount falls into what category if they are or will be divorcing.

If you have questions about workers’ compensation, personal injury, or divorce, contact the attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers today at (612) 294-2200.