Legal Problems do Not Happen in a Vacuum

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When Life Changes So Should Your Estate Plan
February 6, 2019
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Paying for a Divorce When You are Not Working
February 27, 2019
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photo of a couple in a lawyer's office settling a divorce

A woman was at work and her supervisor started making suggestive remarks that were clearly inappropriate. She told him to stop, but it did not end there. In fact, it got worse. Soon, it seemed like every time she passed him in the hall, there was an unwelcome comment. Sadly, over the course of several months, her marriage began to struggle. She was frustrated with work, her interest in sex and her relationship had diminished, and eventually her husband filed for divorce.

She decided to do something about the problems at work. She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit and ended up receiving a sizeable settlement offer based on her high rate of pay. Before she could even get the check, however, she was informed that she may need to split it with her ex-husband.

If this scenario seems strange or uncommon, rest assured it is not. In fact, it is quite normal. Millions of Americans struggle with marital trouble and many opt to end their marriages each year. Of that number, quite a few are simultaneously dealing with other problems that are legal in nature. At Five Points Law Group, our attorneys have the broad and diverse skills needed to tackle complex problems, even when several legal issues are occurring simultaneously.

What Happens to Discrimination Settlements in Divorce?

The example above is a classic case of a person receiving a settlement from a personal injury or workplace harassment suit while in the middle of a divorce. Because the money is designed to reimburse or make the individual “whole” again, most divorce courts will say the money is part of the marital estate. This means it could arguably become part of the property to be divided in the divorce. If you are using two different attorneys for these matters, it is a great reason to make sure they are talking to each other.

Divorce and Your Estate Plan

A lot of people think their divorce will end everything once and for all. It does not. There are a lot of things that linger after a divorce. Your estate plan is one of them.

Fortunately, under Section 43-8-137 of the Alabama Probate Code, divorce severs your bequests to your ex-spouse, as it is not the sort of thing you want to leave up to chance. Plus, things like powers of attorney, advanced directives, living wills, and trusts all should be immediately updated the minute you even think about filing for divorce. Also, you will want to be quick about updating beneficiary designations like life insurance, deeds, and 401(k) accounts. Divorce does not automatically change those at all.

The Five Points Approach

With attorneys individually skilled in multiple areas of the law, our group of skilled legal professionals can carry you through just about any challenge. Perhaps you are receiving money through a settlement and wish to protect your rights in a divorce, or maybe you are facing a divorce battle and want to protect your heirs from losing an inheritance. Whatever it is, make your first call Five Points Law Group, and let us help you today.

 

Kira Fonteneau
Kira Fonteneau
Kira is a lawyer for working people who represents people facing discrimination and illegal wage practices in the workplace.

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