Equitable Distribution and Worker’s Compensation

One asset in equitable distribution or support that parties should consider when getting divorced is worker’s compensation awards. Depending on what state the worker lives, there may be a component not only for lost wages but also an award comparable to a personal injury award. In these instances, the lost wages should be calculated into any support award and the again, you will need to decide whether you want to lump sum the award portion as either income for purposes of support or as an asset for purposes of equitable distribution. In the event that it is considered as income, you cannot double dip and claim it as an asset. If, however, the award is for an injury that occurred outside of the marital period, either before or after separation, you will need to include it as income as you cannot include it as an asset. Your support order should be very detailed and specific and identify exactly what portion of any worker’s compensation is included in the calculation of the income. Whether to have the worker’s comp treated as an asset or income really depends on how the court will treat the asset. In some instances, the court may award the majority of that asset to the injured party and it may be better to then include it income if you are also eligible to receive support. Speaking with your attorney about the expected amounts would be wise to do before you make that decision so that you can decide whether it is better as support or as an asset.

For more information see:/Family-Law-Divorce/Division-of-Marital-Property/