A personal injury claim may form part of a property pool despite the injury being suffered prior to the relationship, during the relationship or post-separation.
The personal injury claim will include components such as previous and future economic loss, care for the injured party which will be detailed in a settlement statement. Your family lawyer will need to review the settlement statement to advise you on how the personal injury claim will be dealt with in the property settlement process.
Although the personal injury payment is paid to the injured party, considerations of the non-injured spouse’s care during the time of the injury, and during rehabilitation. Other considerations include the care of children, and whether child support will be paid for their care in the event of separation.
For an overview of the property settlement process please click here. The four-step process provides a basic guide on how the property settlement process will start, which is determining the asset pool. Therefore, it is important to provide your family lawyer with as much information as soon as possible regarding the personal injury claim, so that you receive specific legal advice on your entitlements based on your unique set of circumstances.
A personal injury claim, whether it’s held in a personal savings account, term deposit or invested elsewhere, may be classified as ‘property’ for the purposes of a family law matter. It may be that the personal injury claim accounts for the majority, if not all, of the asset pool.
Therefore, regardless of whether you are currently in a relationship, considering separation, or considering whether to move in with or marry your current partner, it is important to seek legal advice. A member of our team can advise you on the implications of a personal injury claim and how this could impact a property settlement.