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Dividing Disability Benefits After a Divorce

The property division process involves the marital assets that a couple gained during their marriage being subject to an equitable split. Disability benefits can be considered to be a marital asset, which means they would also be subject to the property division process. 

Disability benefits are classified as any payments that a worker receives after suffering an injury or illness that prevents him or her from being able to work. A government program or a private insurance policy generally pays out these benefits. 

However, it’s important to consider the timing when looking at these benefits. All disability pay that was received during a marriage constitutes marital property, but if the pay was earned before the marriage occurred, then it is not considered to be marital property. If the benefit coverage is tied to work that occurred during a marriage then it is also considered to be marital property. However, any post-divorce earnings from disability benefits are still considered separate property, even if the original illness or injury occurred during the marriage. 

These issues can also be complicated when it’s determined that disability benefits from private insurance policies could have both separate and marital property elements, depending on the purpose of those benefits. The purpose could be, for example, to compensate the employee for lost earnings and suffering, which would make the benefits separate property. There are other purposes that would make the benefits marital property. 

Clearly, the issues of dividing disability benefits after a divorce can be complex. For assistance with this process, work with the respected legal team of Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in Minnesota.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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