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The divorce is happening in FL. During the marriage I was…

The divorce is happening...

The divorce is happening in FL. During the marriage I was awarded a settlement regarding a lawyer not filing dental damage, pain and suffering of 79,000. My spouse asked for a divorce 6 years later. The attorney that handled the settlement told me it is not a marital asset. Because of the divorce we had to sell the house. Can I recover the settlement out of the sale of the house?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Financial affidavits from me. I have not seen her's nor am I clear that she's even filed them

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

It is a same sex marriage; not that that matters. It is considered legal in FL.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
7/6/2017
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,570
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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I am sorry to hear this;

Generally in FL, which divides property based on "equitable distribution" concepts, the court will typically confirm the pain and suffering portion of such awards to the injured spouse, and will treat the lost wages portion of the award (based on back wages during the marriage) as marital property, and will equitably divide those.

However, if the parties have commingled the money so that it is not recognizable (it cannot be determined how much of the award is left because it was deposited in a joint account, for example) then the court may disregard the award and treat it as all marital property and thus subject to equitable division.

The settlement or court decree should have dealt with the issue of all marital property. If the award was not brought up, then one would need to petition the court to reopen the divorce to address that specific topic; if the court determines that the award should have been confirmed as separate property then it may be deducted from proceeds of the home sale (via instructions to the title company, including a copy of the court order)

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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The closing on the house has not happened yet. Should I submit it as a lien on the sale of the house?
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