Monday, January 26, 2009

Can you keep your inheritance when you get divorced?

In the eyes of the law, there are two kinds of marital property: community property and separate property.

Community property is marital assets that were obtained during the marriage by either partner. All community property is divided equitably in a divorce. Separate property is individual property that you obtained before the marriage, and usually remains yours after a divorce.

In most states, an inheritance, even if you receive it during marriage, falls under the separate property clause. As long as the inheritance has not been commingled with joint marital assets during the marriage, it should remain in your own after a divorce.

However, a few states (known as community property states) consider an inheritance to be part of marital assets if it was received during the marriage. An inheritance ruling is difficult to dispute if you live in a community property state. The following states fall into this category:
* Arizona
* California
* Idaho
* Louisiana
* Nevada
* New Mexico
* Texas
* Washington
* Wisconsin

No comments: