If you know you are getting a divorce and you have received an inheritance, a top concern you have may be whether or not your spouse will be able to obtain a portion of the inheritance following your divorce. The answer, unfortunately, is not cut and dry. However, this information should help you gain some clarity on the situation. Now you can know what to expect moving forward.
Whether or not your spouse can some of an inheritance you received depends on what you did with the money. Consider this example. Your great grandmother dies and leaves you money from her estate, but does not mention your spouse. In this case, the courts consider the inheritance something you acquired during the marriage. To keep the inheritance as separate property during the divorce, follow this advice. 1. Keep the money in a separate, individual account. 2. Do not use the monty for daily living expenses, i.e. household expenses. 3. Make sure your spouse does not have easy access to the inheritance. If you can follow this advice, your spouse is unlikely to get any of it.
Commingling of the Inheritance
In the same example, if you deposit the inheritance into a joint account with your spouse or use it for household expenses, the money loses its immunity. This means your spouse may have a right to a portion of the inheritance in the divorce. This is called “commingling of the inheritance,” and is the most common cause for an ex-spouse to gain some of the former spouse’s inheritance.
With commingling, the inheritance benefits both spouses; therefore the court no longer sees the funds as separate property. So, it may be subject to division just like any other shared property or funds.
What Georgia Law States about Inheritance & Divorce
Georgia recognizes that both spouses have an equitable interest in all marital property acquired during the course of the marriage. Unlike states with community property laws, however, this equitable distribution method of dealing with property in divorce does necessarily result in an equal division of property between spouses.
While marital property is divided between spouses, separate property is not. Separate property may include assets a spouse had prior to the marriage or even an inheritance or gift during the marriage. So remember to keep your inheritance safe with the advice above.
Keep Your Inheritance Safe with Reeder Law Firm
If you are getting a divorce, Reeder Law Firm is here to help walk you through the process step-by-step. They will give you the professional advice and support you need. To learn more about how getting a divorce impacts your inheritance or to get your free consultation, contact the Cumming, GA divorce attorneys at Reeder Law firm today.