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Do I Have to Split My Inheritance With My Spouse in a Divorce?

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Protecting Your Inheritance In a Divorce

From child custody and child support to visitation and alimony, many contentious issues can arise in a divorce. However, splitting assets can add even more stress and frustration because everyone wants to keep what’s rightfully theirs. So, what happens when one spouse receives an inheritance while still married? Here’s what you need to know.

Divorce Laws and the Rules of Splitting Inheritance

Florida divorce laws use “equitable distribution” to divide assets between spouses fairly. This does not mean it is split 50/50. Marital property is the property that a couple acquires during their marriage, and all marital property is subject to equitable distribution in a Florida divorce. Non-marital assets are those which were received by either spouse before the marriage or acquired during the marriage as a gift — therefore an inheritance would fall under non-marital property. However, some exceptions can arise.

What Are The Exceptions To The Rule?

In Florida, if one spouse does not keep their inheritance or inherited assets separate from marital assets, it is subject to marital property division laws. Also known as commingling assets, here are some situations in which your inheritance could be split with your spouse:

  • You titled inherited assets to your spouse, such as inheriting a car from a parent and re-titling the vehicle in both you and your spouse’s name.
  • You are using inherited assets to purchase other assets titled jointly, such as applying your inheritance money to update a kitchen in the house you and your spouse own.
  • You are using inherited assets to improve a marital asset, such as inheriting stock from a family member but permitting your spouse to access the account and invest that money.

Need Help With Your Divorce? Contact Owenby Law, P.A.

Many issues need to be settled in a divorce. From child custody matters and dividing marital property to spousal support and more, our team of divorce attorneys understands how difficult it can be to come to agreements when dealing with contentious issues. We are prepared to build and implement a personalized strategy specifically for your divorce. When our firm represents you, you know that we will work hard to protect your rights and interests.

Contact Owenby Law, P.A. at (904) 770-3141 for a consultation today if you're ready to begin the divorce process.