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Is your inheritance separate property?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2023 | Divorce & Legal Separation |

When you head into a divorce, assets may make up some of your largest concerns. If that is the case, you are certainly not alone.

You might have particular concerns if you gained a large inheritance over the course of your marriage. Is this inheritance still yours in the eyes of the divorce court?

Community versus separate property

The Business Professor takes a look at both separate and community properties. Separate properties are not up for division in a divorce scenario. This includes things like assets received before the marriage, things gifted to the individual in question, and inheritances.

Community properties exist as shared property between both parties in a marriage. These are the properties that are up for division and include things that both people had a financial say in. Big examples include the family house or car.

When inheritance becomes community property

There are certain instances where your inheritance may have become a community property over the years, though. If you did something to make it a shared property, then it no longer counts as separate.

Your inheritance likely counts as community property if you used it to pay off a joint debt, if you put it into a jointly owned bank account, or if you used it to purchase a joint asset like a house or other shared property.

This is why it is important to specify from the start which assets are yours. It is equally important to keep them separate for the duration of the marriage, or something like this may happen during the divorce.

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