The decision of getting a divorced can be emotionally and financially draining. Going from a two-income to a solo income household might be overwhelming so making sure every asset that you have remains in your hand is important. In general, inheritances are not considered marital property and therefore are not going to be divided during the divorce process. It is considered the property of the person to whom the inheritance was bestowed.
However, if the inheritance was deposited into a joint bank account and was used for joint marriage expenses, the inheritance immunity is no longer available as the inheritance has been comingled. Marriage expenses include bills, mortgage payments, home repairs and car payments for joint vehicles.
It doesn’t matter when the inheritance is bestowed (for example, a great aunt left a person money in her will but failed to mention their spouse in the will or before you entered into the marriage), the property is considered that person’s sole property until comingling has occurred.
Therefore, the best way to keep your inheritance save from division during the process of divorce is to make sure that is completely separate from your joint accounts and used solely for yourself and not for the benefit of the marriage. Or if you are coming into a marriage with an inheritance, getting a prenuptial agreement that clearly defines that the inheritance is not divisible.
While not impossible to keep your inheritance safe after comingling, it is very difficult to prove that the funds were never intended to be shared with your soon to be ex-spouse. If you are worried that your inheritance is going to be divided then it’s best that you contact one of our division of property lawyers for a free consultation regarding your case.