When you are going through a divorce in California, there are many different factors that you must consider. Typically, if you inherit something from say, a great aunt or a grandparent, it will not be subject to equitable distribution. This is due to the simple fact that it is not considered to be marital property. They are like separate property and will not be divided between the parties in the midst of divorce. However, when an inheritance is shared, it may fall under something known as community property in California. Community property is all property that is accumulated during the marriage.
If the Inheritance Was Acquired BEFORE the Marriage
In many cases, when a spouse enters into a marriage, they will have property of their own, and assets of their own – including inheritance. Depending on the state, laws will determine whether or not the inheritance remains yours or if it must be shared with your spouse. One of the best things that you can do is keep your inheritance away from a joint account. If you do, then it is considered separate property and you will probably be able to keep your funds.
This can sometimes become a problem when you put the funds in a joint account but yet never intended to share the funds with your spouse. In many cases, during your divorce case, you must be able to show the judge that you never intended to share the assets – however, because of the high burden of proof, this may be very difficult to show. This is why it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side to understand how to avoid these issues and keep your inheritance as expected. Give us a call today so we can help you with your inheritance matters and guide you in the right direction.