You and your spouse have long struggled to make ends meet. Though you were unhappy in the marriage, the two of you stayed together for financial reasons. It was easier to pay the bills on two incomes.
However, you recently got a large inheritance. It’s going to change your life. As a result, you’ve decided to move forward and ask for the divorce you’ve wanted all along. Your spouse, though, also wanted to use that large inheritance. They claim that you have to give them half of it since you were married when you got it.
Is this true?
An inheritance can be separate property
What your spouse is referring to is the fact that assets gained during a marriage are considered marital property, not separate property. You own them together and you divide them in divorce. This can happen with the house, for instance, or your bank account.
That said, an inheritance often does not count as marital property, and it can actually be seen as separate property — even though you were married when you got it. As long as your relative left it directly to you and you did not commingle it with the other marital assets you own, you likely do not have to give your ex anything in the divorce. They may not be happy about it, but the money is yours alone.
Protecting what you own in a divorce
This could be a very contentious divorce, considering the financial implications. Make sure you are well aware of the legal steps you can take to protect your own assets and future.