Do You Have to Share an Inheritance with Your Spouse If You Divorce?
Molly Saxon – Senior Associate
Washington, DC Divorce Attorney, Molly Saxon discusses whether an inheritance is subject to division or consideration when two people are getting divorced.
If you receive an inheritance, it is typically considered non-marital property in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, if it is kept separate. That means if you keep inherited funds or property separate and apart from other funds or property and don’t use it for marital purposes, it will typically be considered your separate property. Marital purposes would be using inherited funds towards a down payment on a home, or to pay down a mortgage on a home, or to pay marital expenses.
Also, if you deposit an inheritance into a joint bank account, or even into a bank account that
is separate that has marital funds, it could be considered to be commingled, which means that it could be later subject to consideration or division when divorcing. An inheritance could be considered in a marital settlement if one spouse has a significant amount of inherited funds and the other spouse does not. If there is income from inherited assets, that income can be considered when determining child support or alimony obligations.
My advice to someone contemplating divorce is to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and if you have the right team supporting you – that you will get through this difficult and challenging time. My goal when working with clients is to help them find their new normal. Even though things can’t stay the same, that can often be a good thing.