Are personal injury damages divided equally in divorce?

In California, many types of property are divided equally in divorce. California is a community property state, meaning that with limited exceptions property acquired during marriage is classified as community property and subject to equal division in divorce. However, even when some types of property are classified as community property, they’re not divided equally. One of those types of community property that are NOT divided equally in divorce are “community estate personal injury damages.”

Personal Injury Damages Are Community Property

Family Code Section 780 states:

money and other property received or to be received by a married person in satisfaction of a judgment for damages for personal injuries, or pursuant to an agreement for the settlement or compromise of a claim for such damages, is community property if the cause of action for the damages arose during the marriage.

Family Code 780

In light of Family Code 780, personal injury damages for a claim that arose during marriage are considered community property. For example, if a husband was injured in a car accident during marriage and filed a personal injury lawsuit, any subsequent settlement or judgment proceeds would be classified as community property.

Personal Injury Damages Exception To The Community Property Division Rule

While Family Code 780 classifies personal injury damages as community property, Family Code 2603(b) creates an exception to the 50/50 division rule for this form of community property. The statue reads:

(b) Community estate personal injury damages shall be assigned to the party who suffered the injuries…

Family Code 2603(b)

Therefore, while personal injury damages for a claim that arose during marriage are community property, they are generally awarded to the injured spouse. The only instance in which the court can award some of the damages to the non-injured spouse are when the “interests of justice” require such after considering the needs and economic condition of the parties, time since recovery of the personal injury damages, and all other facts of the case. (See Family Code 2603(b)).

Family Code 4320(a): Sufficiency of Earning Capacities to Maintain The Marital Standard of Living

In ordering permanent spousal support, the family court must consider the extent to which each party’s earning capacity can maintain the standard of living established during marriage. Accordingly, the court must consider the following factors in its spousal support decision: (See Family Code 4320(a))

  • The recipient’s marketable skills
  • The job market for those skills
  • The time and expenses required for the recipient to gain the appropriate education or training to cultivate marketable skills
  • The need for retraining or education to gain more marketable skills or employment
  • The extent to which the recipient’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment during the marriage to permit the recipient to devote time to domestic duties.

Read the entire article on https://rosevilledivorce.com/spousal-support/earning-capacity/ – the website of family law attorney Jin Kim.

Can I Get Child Support if the Divorce is My Fault?

Although child support services in California can help enforce a child support order, they cannot provide legal advice. Furthermore, they rarely have a confidential relationship with a party. Also, unlike attorneys, California child support agencies are neutral third parties. Their goal is to create a record of all child support payments and provide assistance with understanding the child support system. Learn more by visiting the page on https://rosevilledivorce.com/child-support/agency/

How Long Do I Have to Wait to be Divorced in California?

Sometimes we get a call from an individual asking for a “same-day” divorce.  Better yet, we get a call back from a prospective client saying they’ve found another attorney who can give them a one-day divorce.  Putting this deceptive marketing tactic from unscrupulous attorneys aside, a divorce cannot be finalized in one day.  Despite what these callers are led to believe, there is no one-day divorce that results in your marriage terminating tomorrow.  Rather, a divorce may be filed and the other spouse served, but in California, there is a six month waiting period required by statute before any divorce can be finalized. …Read more

HOW TO FIND DIVORCE LAWYER IN CALIFORNIA — opuqupeqe

HOW TO FIND DIVORCE LAWYER IN CALIFORNIA Find information about ending a marriage or registered domestic partnership. Basics of Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment Learn about the different ways to end your marriage or domestic partnership, the requirements for each, and basic information about the court process. To get a divorce in California, you or […]

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Everyday Trauma? Induced Psychological Splitting in Children of Divorce and Separation — Karen Woodall

This is not the first time I have written a blog surrounded by a hundred or so screaming, sweaty children jumping on trampolines. I have been a grandmother for some years now, which has given me the absolute joy of being able to re-experience the development of children from birth onwards up close and personal. Being […]

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After Divorce, Did You Sell Your Wedding Rings? — Authentically 50 ~ Embracing Life’s Changes

I haven’t sold my wedding rings. They’re put away for now because I wouldn’t ever wear them again. I have thought about having them reset into something I would like, but there’s that specter of divorce and disillusionment and lies that they carry. And I believe that gems carry energy and they would carry that […]

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How to find a good divorce lawyer in California

How to find a good divorce lawyer california Find information about ending a marriage or registered domestic partnership. Basics of Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment Learn about the different ways to end your marriage or domestic partnership, the requirements for each, and basic information about the court process. Shop around for a competent divorce lawyer. […]

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Everyday Trauma? Induced Psychological Splitting in Children of Divorce and Separation

This is not the first time I have written a blog surrounded by a hundred or so screaming, sweaty children jumping on trampolines. I have been a grandmother for some years now, which has given me the absolute joy of being able to re-experience the development of children from birth onwards up close and personal. Being […]

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Practical Parenting and Divorce: Parenting Time Agreements in California — Dr. Thomas C. Maples

Introduction I have written a large number of published and electronic articles on Practical Parenting over the years. Having two decades of experience in the healing profession of psychology, being a co-chair of a family law firm, and working with thousands of children during this time, I have seen the ill effects that two parties […]

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Do Domestic Partners Have Rights When They Break Up?

Do Domestic Partners Have Rights When They Break Up?

Domestic partners are partners you live with but are not legally married to. They are also known as non-marital partners – and non-marital partners are not limited to same-sex cases. Non-marital partners have the right to enforce expressed or implied agreements for support or property sharing in the event of a separation.

This rule came from a 1976 California Supreme Court decision known as Marvin v. Marvin .

The Marvin (Palimony) claim comes from the palimony breakup of actor Lee Marvin and long-term girlfriend Michelle Triola. It allows non-marital partners the right to enforce expressed or implied agreements for support or property sharing in the event of a separation. Most of the Marvin claims apply to property acquired during the period lived together.

Basically, alimony is court ordered spousal support that one spouse is ordered to pay to the other during and/or after getting divorced. Palimony provides alimony for unmarried cohabitating couples who break up. Winning a Marvin claim requires knowledge of how the law affects your domestic partnership. It is advised to seek legal advice if you are seeking a Marvin claim or trying to defend against it.

How to File a Marvin Claim

In Marvin Claim, a non-marital partner’s right to monetary support or property is dependent upon an expressed or implied contract. Marvin claims are filed not in family court, as divorces are, but in a civil action. The reason for this is that essentially it is a breach of contract suit. It is an allegation that an expressed or implied contract existed between the two partners.

On a special note, it is possible to file a Marvin Claim as part of your divorce. This normally happens if you lived together with your partner for an extended period of time or acquired assets while living together before you were married to each other.

Some basic issues to consider in evaluating a Marvin Claim include how long the parties live together, each partner’s contribution towards the purchase of any property and if one of the parties supports the other.

Marvin Claim Defenses 

If you are facing a break-up with a long-term partner that you lived with, there are some defenses you can claim. As with any civil claim Marvin claims have a statute of limitations. There is also a test of whether the partnership was a relationship. For example, if your relationship, especially the sexual part, was paid for then it was not really a relationship at all.

A consultation with an attorney can let you know what terms strengthen your claim or strengthen your defense against the claim. Although a family attorney can give you important legal advice on Marvin and file a claim in civil (not family court), unless it is part of a divorce petition that has or will filed in family court.