In California the monetary damages (or awards of other property) as a result of a personal injury settlement and or disposition a spouse receives during a divorce may or may not be characterized as community property. The classification of community property depends on when the cause of action arose, not when the proceeds were received.
If the cause of action in the personal injury case arose during marriage, and before separation, the proceeds are characterized as community property. Otherwise, it is the separate property of the injured spouse under California Family Code 760 and 761.
However, personal injury damages that are community property are typically assigned to the injured party unless the court takes several other factors into account. In these cases, they are subject to special rules and circumstances. Such factors include the needs of each party, economic conditions, and costs incurred by the non-injured spouse in caring for the injured spouse. The court will award at least one-half of the damages to the injured spouse when the damages are characterized as community property under California Family Code 760 and 761.
At Wallin & Klarich, we’ve seen just how stressful divorces can be for our clients and their loved ones. If you or a loved one is going through a divorce or any other family law matter in Southern California, call Wallin & Klarich today for an evaluation of your case. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience successfully representing clients in divorce cases. Call us at 888-749-7428 or fill out our consultation form online at www.wklaw.com for a free evaluation of your case. We will be there when you call.
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