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Eight things you need to know: Personal Injury damages in divorce cases

Date:10 MAR 2022

The “pre-acquired” or “non-matrimonial” argument is one which has taken up much commentary in family law circles over recent years.  However the conundrum can be even more challenging when considering personal injury damages that one party may have received in order to meet their specific needs arising from an accident or injury.  When dealing with a case when some or all of the assets are sourced from PI damages it is important to consider the following:

  1. Do not assume that damages are protected - The analysis as to what constitutes financial resources available for distribution following a divorce is widely defined and can and does include damages paid out from claims for personal injury which are not “sacrosanct” or protected from the claims of the other spouse.  (Wagstaff v Wagstaff [1992] 1 WLR 320). 


  2. The Court’s powers are broad - The Courts are obliged to have regard to all the factors contained in Section 25 of Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 with no one factor outweighing the other.  That said in balancing the factors the bias will often be made in favour of...

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