Court Finds That Personal Injury Award Of Damages For Pain & Suffering Is Income For Child Support Purposes
4th District Appellate Court reverses lower court decision
On June 19, 2018 the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court ruled that the net proceeds from a personal injury settlement for pain and suffering is income for child support purposes. In In re Marriage of Plowman, when the custodial parent received a personal injury settlement of more than $158,000, the non-custodial parent asked the trial court to consider the entirety of the net proceeds from the personal injury settlement as income for the purpose of setting child support. The trial court said no, finding that only the amount of a personal injury settlement attributable to lost earnings is income for child support purposes. On appeal, the non-custodial parent conceded that any damages for future medical expenses and care do not constitute income but argued that any proceeds awarded for pain and suffering and disability is income for child support purposes. The Court agreed and reversed the lower court finding that money damages for pain and suffering amount to a financial benefit to the receiving parent that has a positive impact on the parent’s ability to support her children.
If your former spouse has received an award of damages for pain and suffering as part of a personal injury settlement you may be entitled to a portion of those proceeds as child support. If you have questions about child support or any related family law matter please call 224.800.1351 to schedule a consultation with Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer & Family Law Attorney David Saxe.