The process of divorce can be long and confusing, so if you’re going through one right now, you probably have a lot of questions. Who will get custody of the children? Will I need to pay alimony? How will property be divided? On our blog we look into many of these questions and in this post will take a look at one aspect of property division that often comes into play during a divorce: inheritances.

So is an inheritance subject to division? The short answer is, “no.” Typically, the concept of marital property doesn’t extend to inheritances, especially if it was received before the couple tied the knot. However, there are some circumstances that can change that.

The main concept at play here is “commingling.” If the spouse with the inheritance took the inherited money and deposited it into a joint bank account or uses it to renovate the marital home, the court may see this as commingling and make the inheritance money subject to equitable distribution.

So what happens if you commingled the money, but you never meant for it to be shared with your soon-to-be ex-spouse? It is still possible to recover some or all of the funds, but it can be a difficult process because you’ll have to offer extensive proof that you didn’t intend to commingle your inheritance.

This is a case where having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can be beneficial. He or she can walk you through the property division process and help fight to keep your assets.