While you and your spouse were still married, you received an inheritance from your parents. At the time, both of you were excited, as it was a substantial amount of money.
Since then, though, you have filed for divorce. Your ex says that they should still get some of that inheritance, seeing as how you received it while you were together. You believe that your parents would have wanted the money to stay with you. Do you have to split it?
Did you commingle the inheritance or keep it separate?
The truth is that an inheritance is often considered a separate asset, not a marital asset. It was a gift that was directly given to you. This means that your spouse does not have a claim to it and you may not have to divide it with them.
What you should ask yourself, though, is whether or not the assets were commingled with other assets that you and your spouse did own together. The simplest way for this to happen is if you combined the money that you got from your parents with accounts that you and your spouse held, such as an investment account where you wanted the money to grow or a bank account where you both used the money to pay joint bills, or where you both had access to the money whenever you wanted it.
Commingling an inheritance can change its status and make it into a marital asset, which would mean that you do have to split it. As you can see, it’s quite important to understand the specifics and all of your legal options, as you may have quite a lot of money on the line.