Receiving an inheritance is great, but when it comes to divorce, this good thing can become the source of contention between the two parties. If you received an inheritance either before or after you got married, you would be wise to know what to expect from the property division process and how you can protect your rights.
When a Colorado couple decides to divorce, it will require the division of marital property. This means that all property jointly owned by the couple or assets accumulated over the course of the marriage are subject to division, as well as marital debts. Sometimes, the two parties are able to work through these issues amicably and avoid court, but in your case, it may be impossible to avoid a contentious dispute.
What is separate property?
It is normal to have concerns over what will happen to your property, specifically your inheritance, during the divorce process. It is useful to understand what qualifies as separate property, which is anything that solely belongs to one party. Separate property is not eligible for division during a divorce, and the other party has no rightful claim to these assets.
If you received an inheritance during your marriage and the estate gave the inheritance straight to you, not you and your spouse, it may be separate property. The deciding factor in this could depend on what you did with the money after you received it.
My divorce and my inheritance
In most cases, inheritance falls into the category of separate property, which means that your spouse may not have a claim to it. If you have concerns about what your divorce will mean for your inheritance, consider the following:
- Your spouse will likely not have a claim to a portion of the inheritance, even if you received it while you were married.
- If you put the funds in a joint account, your spouse may try to fight for the court to consider the money as a jointly-owned asset since there was commingling of funds.
- If you received the inheritance before the marriage, it is separate property in most cases.
When it comes to effectively navigating complex property division matters, experience counts. You do not have to navigate these issues on your own, but you have the right to seek an evaluation of your case and an explanation of how you can protect your financial interests at any point in the divorce process. When it comes to your inheritance, you would be prudent to know what will happen and how you can shield your post-divorce future.