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How to handle an inheritance during divorce property division

When couples in Florida make the decisions to end their marriages, there are many factors that must be addressed. The factors can include anything from child custody and support to alimony and property division. When one spouse has inherited real estate or other assets, the other spouse may try to claim a portion of the assets.

As a general rule, an inheritance – money or property – is not subject to distribution between two spouses during a divorce. An inheritance is not considered to be property that is shared by both spouses. Rather, the inheritance is considered separate property and specifically belongs to the spouse to whom it was bequeathed.

However, there are certain instances in which the inheritance may be subject to division between the spouses. For example, if the inheritance was money that was deposited into a joint bank account and has been used for joint expenses, then the inheritance is likely to be treated as marital property. In other words, if separate property is used in a way that allows both spouses access, the inheritance may become subject to division as permitted by the court or agreed upon between the spouses.

Property division, including the division of inheritances, is among the more complicated parts of a Florida divorce. Although it is possible to contest the fact that a commingled inheritance is indeed separate property, it may not be the easiest case to prove. Regardless of the exact situation, couples who are divorcing and have inheritances at stake may wish to educate themselves on the state laws regarding property division in order to determine how the state views the ways in which they have handled their inheritances during their marriages.

Source: FindLaw, "Inheritance and Divorce", Accessed on April 28, 2015

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