Date: November 16, 2021

By: Attorney Jean Butler

Illinois Divorce and Injury Settlements

In Illinois an injury settlement is considered marital property. However, this does not mean divorcing parties will always equally split it.

Defining Marital Property

To begin, marital property is defined as assets that were purchased during a marriage. By definition, it could be assumed that a personal injury settlement would fall under non-marital property. However, that is not the case here in Illinois. Instead, both workers compensation and disability benefits, as well as personal injury settlements are considered marital property. Therefore, these assets things like this will be split up in the event of a divorce.

Non-Marital Property

  • Assets obtained before the marriage
  • Items received as a gift or inheritance to one party alone
  • Items excluded from marital property by mutual agreement
  • Legal judgments awarded to one spouse
  • Property acquired after legal separation

How are Personal Injury Settlements Divided in Illinois?

Illinois is an equitable distribution state. In short, this means that Illinois courts split assets like personal injury settlements fairly, not necessarily equally, during a divorce. Certain factors such as the health and employability of each spouse are considered for example. If the injury suffered by the spouse who received the settlement is preventing them from working, they should expect a larger share of the settlement asset. However, if the other spouse feels the judge divided the asset unfairly, they may appeal the decision.