Contribution from Accident Claims Web:
When an accident claim is successful, the Court decides how much compensation to award the claimant. Most compensation packages will take certain factors into account, such as future loss of earnings, aids and appliances, and future care needs, especially in situations where the claimant has suffered a particularly serious injury.
In most cases, because the victim of the injury feels that they are the only party affected, they believe that their car crash compensation sum is only theirs and does not need to be shared.
However, if the claimant is in a relationship, whether that be marriage or civil partnership, that fails, there are legal consequences that challenge this assumption and this can have significant consequences upon divorce.
First of all, in situations such as this, it is important for the claimant to understand that he or she is obliged to be transparent about the extent of their assets so that they can be examined by the Court.
Factors that are taken into account by the Court when determining a matrimonial/civil partnership settlement are listed in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. These factors include, and go beyond, income, earning capacity, standard of living and ages of the parties, physical and mental disabilities.
The process is as follows. The Court will firstly assess the financial requirements of each party and if the combined assets do not result in a surplus over and above these needs, then the Court will assess the ongoing needs of each party, including their future care and housing needs.
For some claimants, their, or their partner’s future needs, will increase in time as their disability worsens, while it may also be the case that the primary carer for the children will reduce once the children have become independent.
In severe cases whereby the ongoing care needs of the injured are substantial, the Court may take the stance that a substantial amount of the combined capital and income is required by the injured party, with concerns that using any, or all, of the settlement sum would be to the detriment of the injured party’s quality of life.
There are agreements that individuals can put in place with regards to injury compensation. If parties are Married or in a Civil Partnership prior to the compensation being received, then a ‘Postnuptial Agreement’ is worth considering.
Alternately, if a Marriage or Partnership is to take place following compensation settlement, then a ‘Prenuptial Agreement’ is worth considering. These agreements make for robust evidence of the parties agreed intentions with regards to accident compensation.
For expert guidance on your divorce, contact the family law experts at GE Law who, through a unique joint legal-psychological approach, can help you secure the best result for you.