When it comes to divorce, one of the most contentious issues is dividing property. And while most people know that property acquired during the marriage is typically considered marital property, there is often confusion about how inheritance factors into the equation.
Let’s explore the question of whether an inheritance becomes marital property or not and how a Miami divorce lawyer can help you navigate the details.
Marital property is any asset acquired during the marriage, including income, real estate, vehicles, and investments. In most states, including Florida, marital property is subject to division during a divorce, with each spouse receiving an equitable share.
Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, however, and property division is often a complex and emotional process.
Inheritance is the property, money, or assets that are passed down to an individual after the death of a family member or loved one. Inheritance can take many forms, including cash, real estate, stock options, and personal belongings.
In Florida, inheritances are not considered marital property as long as they are maintained separate and apart from marital property. If you receive an inheritance during your marriage, it will likely be considered separate property and not subject to equitable division during a divorce. However, there are some situations where inheritance can become marital property.
There are a couple of ways inheritance can become marital property.
The first is if the inherited property is commingled with marital property. For example, if you inherit a large sum of money and deposit it into a joint bank account with your spouse, that money may be considered marital property.
Another way that inheritance can become marital property is if it is used to purchase property that is titled jointly. For example, if you use your inheritance to purchase a house with your spouse and both names are on the title, the house may be considered marital property.
It is possible to protect inheritance in a divorce. The most effective way to do this is to keep the inherited property separate from marital property. This means keeping the property in your name, keeping it in a separate financial account, and not commingling it with marital assets.
An inheritance received before marriage is typically considered separate property and is not subject to division during a divorce. Again, however, if the inheritance is commingled with marital property, it may become subject to division.
A family law attorney can help protect inherited property in a divorce by advising you on keeping the property separate from marital assets. We can also help you navigate the divorce process and ensure that your rights are protected regarding your inherited assets.