Why Your Personal Injury Award May Be Community Property

A recovery that you obtain for personal injuries during your marriage is generally considered to be your separate property and not community property in a Woodlands divorce. There is one significant exception however. A personal injury award can be made up of several different components. There may be an award for pain and suffering as well as for lost wages. The portions of a personal injury award that belong to the community estate include damages for lost wages, medical expenses, and other expenses associated with injury to the community estate. Once an item is identified as community property it becomes subject to division between you and your ex-spouse in the divorce.

Who Must Prove What?

When a spouse receives a settlement from a lawsuit during marriage, some of which could be separate property and some of which could be community property, it is that spouse’s burden to demonstrate which portion of the settlement is his or her separate property. This is important to remember, the person claiming the personal injury award as community property does not have to prove a thing unless the other spouse is able to establish the award is separate property by clear and convincing evidence. Call (832) 592-7913 and speak with a Woodlands Divorce Lawyer about protecting your rights if you or your spouse settled a lawsuit during your marriage.