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With divorce in mind, don’t commingle your inheritance

When you get a financial inheritance from your parents, it can change your life. That sudden influx of money may give you enough to retire, start your own business or merely feel secure in the fact that your financial future is protected. 

To keep it this way, if you’re worried that you may eventually get a divorce, make sure that you do not commingle that inheritance. Doing so can allow your spouse to claim some of it for their own as your marriage ends. 

What is commingling?

Generally speaking, commingling just means combining funds or accounts that you control. For instance, you and your spouse may have a main bank account that you access jointly. All of the money in that account is a marital asset. 

If you put your inheritance in its own account — which only you can access — it’s easier to say that it’s a separate asset from outside of your marriage. This means you get to keep it in the divorce. If you put it into the joint account, though, your ex can claim that you allowed them to use the money during your marriage. You also mixed it with other funds, making it impossible to tell apart any longer. On these grounds, they can sometimes claim a portion of that inheritance, even though you both know that it was not your parents’ intention to leave it to them. 

Complex financial assets can make for a complex divorce

Any time that you’re facing divorce and you have more complex financial assets, it is critical that you understand exactly what legal steps to take. Our firm can help guide you through this process.