Does a husband recieve a share of wife’s class action lawsuit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does a husband recieve a share of wife’s class action lawsuit?

During my son’s 17 year marriage, his wife had a birth control implant that failed causing her to have a hysterectomy. She is being awarded a large settlement. Their divorce was final a few days ago. Is he entitled to a portion of the settlement?

Asked on July 9, 2017 under Family Law, Nevada


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, unless there is a legal separation agreement in effect, a spouse's rights remain the same as if they were in a stable marriage. That having been said, typically if the settlement is to compensate for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or medical bills that do not have an impact on the marital estate, the settlement is considered to be separate property and therefore is solely awarded to the injured spouse. However, some state courts have ruled that a personal injury settlement is marital property if there has been a commingling of the asset by accepting the entire settlement in 1 check made payable to both parties; the compensation is for lost wages and/or medical bills that have an impact on the marital estate. Additionally, when there is a lower settlement amount than what would have otherwise occurred due to low policy limits or a lack of funds from the at fault party, it is within the court's discretion to allocate a portion of the settlement roceeds to lost wages, even when the settlement indicates that it is for personal injuries. At this point, you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney as to your specific situation. Once they are able to review the details of the case, they can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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