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Husband’s Personal Injury Award Converted Into Marital Assets And Subject to Equitable Distribution

divorce lawyer New YorkIn a case before Justice Stacy Bennett sitting in a Divorce Part in Nassau County, a wife brought a divorce lawsuit against her husband. They had been married in 2001. Issues involving parental access, grounds, custody, and all other issues had been decided by the court. The issue presented to Justice Stacy Bennett was whether a personal injury settlement of $1,638,348.90, which had been initiated prior to the marriage was converted from separate property into marital property. And then, if it was marital property, what portion of the marital property would the wife be entitled to?

The wife in this case alleged the personal injury settlement award to the husband was converted and transmuted into marital assets and were no longer separate property. The husband alleged that since the assets involved were all the proceeds of a personal injury award, and personal injury awards are not subject to equitable distribution, all of said assets belonged to him.

Assets Converted Into Marital Property

Justice Stacy Bennett held a trial with regard to this matter. After reviewing the evidence, she found the husband had converted the separate assets into marital assets and therefore these assets were subject to a distributive award.

The usual manner in which separate property assets are converted into marital assets is by putting one’s spouse on an account where those assets are located. Another way of converting them would be to spend them on improving a marital asset, such as the marital residence which is in both parties’ names.

Conclusion

If you want to maintain separate assets, separate and not have them become marital property, you should maintain them in a separate bank account or investment account and not put your spouse’s name on the account.divorce attorney

Division of Property in a Divorce

homepage-property-divisionThe division of assets in a divorce can be a significant issue. Lawyers are expensive. They charge on an hourly basis. A “common sense” approach to division of assets can reduce your legal expenses.

Both parties may have deferred compensation assets, such as pensions, 401Ks, 403Bs, and IRAs. You should establish the value of these assets and trade them off if possible.

If the man uses the power tools on a regular basis, the majority of these tools should be given to him. If the woman utilizes a sewing machine or other items of that nature, she would be the logical owner of this equipment.

Disagreements Concerning Property Division

The division of property should only be brought to the court as a last resort. Litigating property division issues can be very expensive. An alternative to dealing with property division issues is to simply sell the property and divide the cash. Unfortunately, used personal assets generally do not generate a reasonable sales price at a tag sale.

Should you have questions concerning division of property, contact the family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo by email or at 1-800-344-6431.

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