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What Happens in a Divorce if I Receive an Inheritance During the Marriage?

Posted on in Divorce

Novi Family Law AttorneyYour financial fortunes could change when you receive an inheritance. If you go through a divorce after you receive the inheritance, you want to ensure that you keep the entire amount. The good news is that Michigan law would largely protect the property you have received, unless you have mixed it with marital property. A divorce attorney could advise you further on how an inheritance is treated in your own specific circumstances. 

The General Rule Is that an Inheritance Is Separate Property

In general, property received by inheritance during a marriage would be considered separate property, and it would not be subject to equitable division under Michigan law. This rule applies, regardless of whether you inherited the property before the marriage or during the marriage. While that is the general rule, there are reasons why an inheritance could be subject to division. For example, if you have commingled the inheritance with marital assets, it could become marital property. If you have deposited the inheritance into a joint account, or you used it to purchase an asset that was jointly titled, your spouse may then be entitled to their share

You must be careful what you do with the inheritance after you receive it. Always make sure to put it into a separate account and keep it there. The character of separate funds can change, depending on what you do with them. 

A Prenuptial Agreement Can Help

If you expect that you may receive an inheritance at some point during the marriage, you should have a prenuptial agreement in place before you are married. Then, you will have an executed agreement, which should protect you in the event of a divorce. 

If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, you would need a separation agreement that protects the inheritance that you received. Typically, you would include a clause that states that each spouse can keep their own property. However, you can anticipate that your spouse may try to find a way to receive part of your inheritance. You may need to hire a forensic accountant to prove that you kept the funds separate in the face of allegations to the contrary. 

An Oakland County Divorce Attorney Can Help

To learn more about how an inheritance is treated in a divorce, and other vital legal issues, contact a Davi divorce lawyer at Elkouri Heath, PLC today. We can help you negotiate a marital settlement agreement or fight for you in court. You can call us today at 248-344-9700 for a free no-obligation consultation. 




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