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Is an inheritance separate property?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Divorce

When a loved one passes away, they may have left you an inheritance. Most likely it’s one that’s financial and could consist of a substantial amount of money. If you were married when you received this, you may wonder what could happen to it in a divorce. Does your spouse get half of your inheritance in a Texas divorce?

Did you share the inheritance?

On the whole, an inheritance is usually not going to be looked at as marital property in Texas. It is separate property, meaning that you are the only one with a claim to it. That inheritance was given directly to you, despite the fact that you were still married to your spouse, and so you may not need to give any of it to your ex in the property division process.

However, this can change if you shared that inheritance with them prior to the divorce. This is often called commingling the inheritance, and it may mean that it is now actually marital property.

There are different ways to share an inheritance. The most obvious, of course, is allowing your spouse to buy things with the money or buying joint items, such as a new family car. But sharing could also just mean putting the money into a joint account. Maybe you didn’t spend any, but you took the entire inheritance and invested it with the rest of your money that you have in a portfolio. Even though your spouse didn’t withdraw any before the divorce, they may be able to claim that they could have done so and that this gives them a right to a portion of that money.

If, on the other hand, you opened up a separate investment for it under your name, then you have protected that money and your right to the inheritance.

What options do you have?

You can see how complicated this may become. Depending on the size of that inheritance, it could be one of the biggest assets that you own. You absolutely must know about your options and your rights at this time.