What Happens to an Inheritance Received During Marriage if You Divorce?

A divorce lawyer in Scottsdale provides help with the division of property that must occur during a divorce. There are often many contentious issues that arise during divorce, with the manner in which marital property is divided at the top of the list of things that people fight over, along with child custody and child support. Because the decision on how assets are divided can impact your financial security for the rest of your life, you need to ensure that the right decisions are made on property division and that you are able to get your fair share of the property that was acquired during the course of your marriage.

Singer Pistiner, P.C. can explain to you how the law applies to property division in Arizona and can help you to try to negotiate an out-of-court agreement on property division that protects your assets and gives you the financial security you need to rebuild your life now that your marriage has come to an end. Our legal team will also work with you if you must go to court to argue for your preferred property division, so no matter what, we’ll fight for you to get the marital assets that Arizona law allows you to obtain.

One common issue that can arise regarding the division of marital property will relate to the disposition of property that was inherited during the course of a marriage. Inherited money or assets can have substantial value, so it is important to know how these assets will be treated and what should happen to them after a marriage has come to an end.

What Happens to Inherited Property After a Marriage Ends?

The question of what happens to inherited property after a marriage ends is a complicated one to answer because it depends upon many factors including how the inheritance was structured and how decisions on property division are made.

In many cases, a premarital or postnuptial agreement is put into place to protect inherited wealth, whether the inherited wealth was obtained before or during the marriage. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are both generally going to be enforceable and controlling, provided legal formalities were followed in the creation of these written agreements.

Couples also have the opportunity of negotiating on the issue of property division outside of court at the time when they are divorcing. If you can come to an agreement together with your ex that addresses how an inheritance and all other marital assets are divided, the court will not need to become involved and the entire process of divorcing should be cheaper and easier.

Although both spouses should know their rights under Arizona’s community property rules so they will know if a proposed division of assets is fair or not, couples can generally come to any consensus they wish on dividing assets even if their decision is not directly in line with what a judge would have done if division of property was done by the court.

If the couple does go to court, the key question used to determine what happens to an inheritance after a marriage ends will center around whether the inherited assets were separate property or were part of the community property that the married couple jointly owned. Sometimes, steps are taken- like putting the money into trust that is inherited- so it is very clear that no part of the inheritance should go to the spouse. In other cases, money is left to the couple together or inherited assets are co-mingled with marital assets, and the decision of what happens to the property will become much more difficult and could depend upon whether it can be proved the money or property should be separate.

Getting Help from A Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale

A divorce lawyer in Scottsdale can offer you the assistance that you need to protect an inheritance when you are married through the creation of a postnuptial agreement or through the use of other appropriate legal tools. An experienced attorney can also help you to try to protect your rights to an inheritance as a marriage is coming to an end. We know how Arizona law treats property acquired during the course of a marriage and we will argue on your behalf so you can obtain the share of the inheritance that is rightfully yours.

To find out more about the assistance we can provide not only with dividing an inheritance but with the division of all marital property during a divorce, download our free divorce guide. You can also give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online to get personalized advice as you negotiate property division outside of court or fight for your fair share of marital property in court.


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