What does family law say about my inheritance?

| Jan 29, 2019 | Family Law |

The sentiment “what’s mine is yours” might be nice in theory, but it can be somewhat more difficult in practice. For instance, what about that inheritance your parents left you? Or a valuable gift from a dear friend? You probably want to hang on to these assets during a divorce, but depending on your situation, this might not be the case. Here is what you should know about how Michigan family law handles these situations.

Your property can fall into one of two categories — separate or marital. Marital property is anything that belongs to both you and your spouse, and generally includes anything that either of you accumulated during the course of your marriage. Separate property can be things that you owned before tying the knot or specific assets received afterwards. During divorce, you only have to divide marital property.

So if you receive an inheritance while you’re married, is it marital property? Not necessarily. How you treat that inheritance or even the terms of your prenuptial agreement can determine whether it is separate or marital. The same is true for things like gifts and other complicated assets that are not necessarily straightforward in nature.

You want a fair distribution of assets during your divorce, but you also want to protect what is yours. This is often easier said than done. Whether an asset is marital or separate property can be complicated, and you may need to take a variety of factors into account. You do not have to do this alone, though. Our website has plenty of information regarding this and other Michigan family law matters.

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