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What will happen to your inheritance during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2022 | Divorce |

During a divorce, one of your primary concerns will relate to how this decision will impact your finances and property. Naturally, you want to be certain that you will receive a fair share of all marital property, and you also want to be sure that you do not leave your marriage with an unfair portion of marital debt. If you received an inheritance at any point before or during your marriage, you may wonder how a divorce will impact your ability to keep your inherited property.

Typically, all marital property is subject to division in a divorce. This means anything New Jersey spouses bought, earned, accumulated or collected will be subject to division between the parties. What happens to an inheritance can depend on how the funds were used, when the spouse received it and other factors. You may benefit from an explanation of your property rights and how you can fight for a fair property division settlement.

Is an inheritance considered marital property?

In most cases, inherited property is not marital property, which means it is not subject to division between the two spouses. If you received the inheritance, your spouse might not have any rightful claim to it, regardless of when you received it. However, an inheritance may no longer be separate if there was a joint use of the property by both spouses. For example, if you placed the funds in a joint account and both spouses used it, it may lose its status as separate property.

Inheritance may also lose its status as separate property if used for home improvements over the course of the marriage. If you received the inheritance before marriage and the funds remain separate from marital accounts, it will likely remain separate property. However, you may find it beneficial to include provisions regarding your inheritance in the terms a premarital contract.

Your post-divorce financial future

There is a lot at stake during your divorce. Your financial future is on the line, which is why it is helpful for you to have an understanding of property division laws and your rights. You may benefit from seeking an assessment of your case so that you can learn more about what to expect from the divorce process and what you can do to pursue terms that will provide you with a strong and secure post-divorce future.