Published on:

Ex-spouse Argues Claims Personal Injury Award is Partially Hers

The man and his current spouse entered into a settlement agreement with an insurance provider as compensation for his personal injury, pain and suffering, as well as the, spouse’s claims due to the inability of husband to perform his responsibility which occurred as a result of an car accident.

According to the terms of the settlement agreement, the man is guaranteed to receive $633,000.00 with an expected payout of $1,002,900.00. The payment schedule of the aforementioned includes an initial payout, monthly benefits and substantial disbursements in the future years. The man is currently capable of doing his work as a survey engineer despite of the physical disability sustain as a result of the accident. By means of petition, a woman sought the establishment of paternity for the subject children. The fact finding trial began on wherein the man was represented by the same counsel and the woman was represented by the Westchester County attorney’s office of the Social Services Law. A Nassau County Personal Injury Lawyer said the examiner entered an order of paternity based on the woman’s admission and subsequently addressed the woman’s application for child support at another fact finding trial. The trial examiner did not include the proceeds of the settlement in calculating the amount of child support based. It did not constitute income of the family court act. The examiner applied the child support guidelines based on the parties’ income and entered a support order in the amount of $62.50 per child.

The woman opposes such a result by arguing that the compensation received as a result of a personal injury award should be considered as income in support. The woman also states that it is certain that the man’s injury has not prevented him from working and the man’s union does not oppose him from seeking non-union employment. The woman alleges that the subject children’s minimum basic needs are not being met by the current order of support and no implication should be given to the portion of the settlement agreement that states that the award represent damages for the man’s pain and suffering. Lastly, the woman mentions as the legal authority for the court to apply its optional powers in the case. The man agrees with the hearing examiner’s reasoning.

A New York Injury Lawyer said the department of social services analyzed the receipt of an award within the family court act. The court further found that the court was not permitted to allocate a portion of the non-recurring payment from extraordinary sources that otherwise would be considered as income for the support of the child. For that reason, the award was less likely to be intended as a onetime recurring payment like lottery winnings which are specifically mentioned in the law. In addition, veterans benefits are not considered income for tax purposes but are specifically mentioned in the law as an element of income for the purposes of determining support .The final position defenses a strict interpretation approach suggesting that the government intended to include workers’ compensation and veterans benefits and exclude injury settlements as income within of the family court act.

As noted by the woman, the language of the law states that the income shall mean, but shall not be limited to the sum of the amounts determined by the application of articles and reduced by the amount determined by the application of one of the article. The court agrees with the man’s argument that the government intended to provide the courts with the judgment to include as income items other that those specifically enumerated. As a result, a Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said the court finds that the portion of the man’s settlement agreement which is structured so that the man receives the amount of $1,350.00 for life can be considered as income for the support of the subject children. The nonrecurring payments of the man’s award cannot be considered as income.

The court grants the man’s objection to the extent as set forth. The court also ordered that the issue be remanded back to the trial examiner to revise the prior order of child support.

Accidents and injuries are always intertwined with suffering, not only felt by the victim but also by his family. The skilled lawyer is always prepared to provide you with a firm stand against the opponents. If you are experiencing such pain, speak to Stephen Bilkis and Associates for a guidance and a free consultation.

Contact Information