Compensation and divorce – will I lose my damages if I get divorced? | Medical Negligence and Private Damage Weblog | Kingsley Napley

We specialize in acquiring the perfect achievable awards of compensation for victims of medical negligence in order that, so far as potential, their wants will be met for the remainder of their lives. We act for a variety of claimants from these with cerebral palsy to survivors of essential infections resembling meningitis. Nevertheless, even after a profitable declare, these medical damages might be claimed by a former partner as a part of a monetary settlement on divorce. Is that this actually honest? As medical negligence legal professionals, is there something we are able to do to assist our injured shoppers in defending their belongings from their partner?

Getting compensation

Usually, an award of compensation will embrace components for ache and struggling, previous losses (bills already incurred on the time of the award) and future wants. These wants can embrace appropriate lodging, future care wants, gear and future therapy prices. Proof from a wide range of consultants is often required to make these assessments and the method of calculating the sums concerned is usually advanced.

Extra prone to get divorced?

Sadly, the probability of marital breakdown will increase following some accidents resembling mind trauma. Olympic rower James Cracknell has spoken brazenly concerning the breakdown of his marriage following a mind damage in 2010 which led to obvious adjustments in his character.

Compensation not protected against divorce

As mentioned beforehand from a household legislation perspective by my colleague Sital Fontenelle () if a wedding or civil partnership breaks down, awards of compensation usually are not ring fenced and may type a part of the pot to be divided inside  divorce proceedings. 

Part 25 of the Matrimonial Act 1975 units out the assorted components for a Courtroom when contemplating the suitable division of belongings. The Courtroom will need to have regard to all of the circumstances of the case and the first consideration must be the welfare of any kids.

As Sital explains, not all belongings will likely be thought of matrimonial property. Some will be designated as non-matrimonial property – not a monetary product of the events’ frequent endeavour. There isn’t any clear place as as to whether or not private damage compensation awards will likely be handled as non-matrimonial belongings and because it stands, it’s thought of on a case by case foundation. Nevertheless, there are sturdy arguments for medical compensation being thought of a non-matrimonial asset.

Nonetheless, even when a compensation award, or half thereof, is assessed as non-matrimonial, such belongings can nonetheless be susceptible within the divorce settlement if there’s a specific want. The function of the Courtroom in divorce is to make sure each companions’ wants are met, with precedence given to the companion with whom any minor kids are resident. Due to this fact, if there usually are not enough matrimonial belongings to satisfy wants – each revenue and capital, these belongings which might be non-matrimonial will be invaded. When contemplating utilizing medical damages, a Courtroom will have a look at function for which the compensation was supposed though this may occasionally not at all times be clear on the face of the settlement, notably if the declare is compromised.

Is the legislation honest?

Clearly because it stands the Courts are confronted with robust decisions. However the query must be requested: is it ever honest or affordable to make use of medical compensation to settle monetary treatment claims on this means?

If negligence awards have been ring fenced by legislation, it will carry some certainty to injured events who, having obtained compensation to safe their future wants, nonetheless face the stress of a divorce. Nevertheless, there look like no strikes within the offing to vary the established order and the ethical dilemma stays as “wants” trump upon divorce.

Get recommendation as early as potential

Recommendation ought to be sought from a household legislation practitioner in case you are going through divorce throughout or after a declare for medical negligence or certainly in case you are seeking to get married. Sital has mentioned in her article the assorted choices to help with this troublesome scenario together with placing compensation in to a Belief in addition to pre-nuptial agreements. Additionally it is advisable to debate any potential divorce with the lawyer coping with your medical negligence declare. As consultants in these kind of instances, we perceive the complexities concerned.

It’s important in a divorce scenario {that a} clear breakdown will be proven as to how the award of medical compensation was assessed. Many instances settle out of Courtroom and your lawyer might want to have offered you with this detailed recommendation – we’re specialists on this space.

As medical negligence solicitors, we may even have the ability to advise you about periodical cost orders (PPO) in instances for giant quantities of compensation. These could debatable mitigate a number of the difficulties, as famous by Sital. A PPO is an order for cost of an annual quantity to satisfy future wants as a substitute for one lump sum. Whereas these funds is not going to essentially be exempt from consideration on divorce, it could be harder to incorporate monies clearly marked for ongoing help.


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 is the top of our Medical Negligence and Private Damage apply and joined the agency in 2023 from Hodge, Jones & Allen. He has undertaken medical negligence instances for over 20 years.  All through his profession James has handled a really big selection of instances regarding all forms of negligence claims – delayed prognosis instances, beginning accidents, anaesthetic accidents, surgical errors,  GP and hospital negligence, all forms of orthopaedic claims, together with advanced hip and knee substitute surgical procedure claims and and all forms of most cancers instances.


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