How Do You Deal With An Inheritance During Asset Division?

Posted on: 26 October 2022

When someone leaves you an inheritance, you now have a new asset. Once you get divorced, you might wonder if your inheritance is up for grabs during asset division. Inheritances are treated differently during this process. The following are some things you need to know.

What Is Marital Property?

Marital property is the assets you and your spouse purchase or otherwise acquired during your marriage. Each person's name does not have to be listed as an owner to be considered marital property. Every state is different in the laws regarding marital property. The timing of the purchase or acquisition of the property is among the main considerations when going through asset division. If joint income was used to purchase an asset, it is seen as marital property. Property acquired prior to marriage with your own money may not be marital property. This again depends on the laws in your state.

Is Your Inheritance Marital Property?

Inheritance is a special topic within the asset division process. Inheritances are deemed the sole possession of the person who received it even if it was received during the marriage. However, to make the process easier, the inheritance should not comingle with marital assets. If that happens, it could be considered marital property. For instance, if you receive money from an inheritance and you use some of that money to put a down payment on a home for you and your spouse, the money is no longer considered a sole asset. Any money from an inheritance that is in your own bank account with only your name is generally protected during asset division.

Does an Inheritance Impact Alimony?

If you received an inheritance but you want alimony payments after your divorce, you may run into some issues. The judge will evaluate your assets and income to decide if you should get alimony. If the inheritance is sizable, your alimony payment may be lower than you expected, or you may not receive alimony at all.

Can You Protect Your Inheritance?

If you want to make sure your inheritance remains safe throughout your marriage, you can get a prenuptial agreement. This can be done either if you received the inheritance prior to your marriage or if you know you will eventually receive the inheritance later on. Any prenuptial agreement signed before your marriage will protect your inheritance. This step is in addition to keeping your inheritance separate from your other assets.

Reach out to a local divorce lawyer for more information.