Louisiana is a community property state, which means that absent of a matrimonial agreement stating otherwise, generally spouses share equally in assets, income, and debt acquired by either spouse during their marriage. However, not all funds received by a spouse during a marriage will be classified as community property. For instance, although Louisiana is a community property state not all funds received from a personal injury settlement from an incident such as a car accident or slip and fall case will be classified as such.
Any funds received by one spouse for pain and suffering will not be considered community property; rather it would be classified as the separate property of the spouse who filed the claim. On the other, if that same spouse also received a settlement compensation for outstanding bills and/or lost wages, then that portion of the settlement would be classified as community property. Also, any settlement funds received as a result of physical damage to property owned by the community, would also be defined as community property.
Using funds received from a personal injury settlement for something that benefits both spouses, or to buy something that the couple uses together, could eventually cause to purchased items or settlement itself to be considered community property.
If you need assistance in understanding how a personal injury settlement for a car accident, truck accident, or slip and fall accident or other incident may potentially affect your community property regime or matrimonial agreement, it is important to speak with a legal professional. At Kiefer & Kiefer, we have a team of experienced attorneys who can help you to navigate through the process. Please give us a call or send an email message today to set up a free consultation.