Will my Spouse Receive Half of my Inheritance if We Get Divorced?
No. Most, but not all, property obtained during a marriage is marital property and as such, it is subject to division by the court if the couple decides to divorce. Gifts and inherited assets are exceptions to this rule.
Inheritance is Separate Property
The opposite of marital property is separate property. This includes property each party owned before entering the marriage, such as personal items and vehicles. Because inheritance was given directly to one spouse, it, too, is separate property.
If you receive assets through inheritance, make these assets easy to trace by keeping all documents related to them handy. This way, your lawyer, your accountant, and the court can differentiate between these assets and your marital assets, reducing the chance that they will be mistakenly grouped with your marital assets and divided.
Commingled Assets in a Florida Divorce
There is another category of assets that must be considered in a divorce: commingled assets. These are assets that enter a marriage as separate property, but change in value through the couple’s shared efforts. For example, a home owned by one spouse that becomes more valuable through mortgage payments and maintenance by the other may be considered commingled property. Dividing commingled property in a divorce can be complicated and require the court to determine the difference between its current value and its original value as a separately owned asset.
Your inheritance can become a commingled asset if its value changes through your spouse’s contributions. For example, if you inherit a home and make it your marital home, its commingled value is marital property. Similarly, if you inherit a sum of money and invest it in a joint brokerage account, the value of the account is marital property.
Create Guidelines for your Asset Division with a Prenuptial Agreement
The most effective way to ensure that your separate property remains solely yours in the event of your divorce is to write a prenuptial agreement. This document outlines how your assets are divided in the event of a death or divorce. It can also provide guidelines for the use of your marital funds during the marriage.
Draper Law Office Can Help you Hold Onto your Assets in a Divorce
Your marital assets must be shared with your spouse during a divorce. This is not only required by law, it is fair. But if something belonged solely to you before the marriage or it was a gift to you, you have the right to keep it in its entirety. Work with a lawyer who will be your advocate and help you keep your separate assets. Contact Draper Law Office at 866-767-4711 today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation with us.