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Is that inheritance still yours during divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2019 | Family Law

Before your spouse asks for a divorce, you get a significant inheritance from your parents. You’re looking at seven figures. It’s enough money that you could retire immediately.

When your spouse files for divorce, he or she lets you know that they want half of the inheritance. They think it’s property that you both own together since you got it during the marriage, and they want a cut.

Now, you do not think that’s fair. It’s clear that your parents saved their money for you and not for your ex. Do you have a right to keep the entire inheritance?

While Texas is a community property state, there are exceptions for inheritances and gifts. Even if you get them while you’re married, they stay separate property. There’s no automatic step to give your spouse a claim to part of the inheritance your parents left for you.

One thing to remember is that comingling an inheritance can turn it into marital property, even if it was not before. For example, if you put the money into a joint account that you and your spouse use to pay the bills and make purchases, your spouse can now argue that you “gave” access to that money to them. That can make it marital property that has to get divided.

With a seven-figure inheritance — not even counting all of your other assets — you clearly have a lot of money wrapped up in this divorce. As you can see, it’s very important to know what rights you have and how the local divorce laws dictate how you divide those assets.