Visitor Question

Does my ex husband have rights to my personal injury settlement?

Submitted By: Linda (Parker, CO, USA)

Prior to my divorce, I had a severe back injury, resulting in chronic pain/suffering, several back surgeries and a numb left leg.

I received a settlement resulting from a court trial.

I “gave” my ex a portion of my settlement for him to “invest”.

I then purchased a floral shop, the property for the shop and the equipment to run the shop.

This allowed me to continue to work as I could work within my restrictions (my being the owner). I also felt that the property would be a solid investment, allowing me to sell it if needed for my injury.

During our divorce, my ex husband demanded 1/2 of all of the property and its contents.

This left me without my business, my equipment and therefore no means to take care of myself financially.

I have continued to have medical issues, including now a cardiac arrest, and find myself with no way to provide for myself nor insurance for medical care.

How is it “legal” for someone to take away your means of supporting yourself, especially when this was bought with assets resulting from an injury to begin with?

To me, I already “paid” him half of the settlement which he foolishly lost, but more importantly, how can someone take a settlement that was meant not to allow me to be put in this situation to begin with?

I would appreciate any and all information you can give! Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Linda,

Although I will attempt to address your questions, you should know this site is dedicated to helping people understand how to navigate their way through the often complex and adversarial personal injury settlement process. And in so doing understand the methods required to negotiate the highest possible settlement for their injuries.

With that said, your case is one which should have been addressed in the divorce proceedings. Although you didn’t indicate whether you engaged an attorney to represent you during your divorce, I will presume you did. If so, you should be discussing these questions with your divorce attorney.

Inasmuch as the divorce has concluded one of two actions took place. Either you settled the divorce without having to go through a trial, or you went through a trial and the court decided the outcome for you.

You didn’t mention any trial process so I will presume your divorce was settled out of court. If it was, you had ample time to discuss the terms and conditions of the divorce before you signed the Agreed Divorce Decree.

You were the only person who could have accepted those terms. No one forced you to.

You could have told your attorney you didn’t think the settlement was fair and as a result wanted to go to trial. You didn’t.

Now it seems like “sour grapes”.

You can’t blame your attorney either. You chose her. At anytime up to the minute when you signed the agreed divorce decree you could have simply said “NO”! Regrettably it is too late.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 9, 2012

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