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What Happens to Inheritance in a Divorce [Ultimate Guide]


Division of property

Property is divided in different ways during a divorce. it all depends on whether this property is joint or personal property of each spouse. It is considered joint for spouses, that if both partners took advantage of it, using it for household expenses or investments during marriage. The judge decides that all community property must be divided between both parties during the divorce proceedings. Sometimes, one of the spouses receives most of the inheritance. This depends on various circumstances, such as the length of the marriage or the contributions made by each spouse to the property.

The distribution of the inheritance depends on how it was disposed of during the marriage. If a certain property was kept separately from the common property and was used only by one of the spouses, then, as a rule, it remains to him after the divorce. If the inheritance was mixed with the joint property of the spouses or was used for the needs of both parties, the judge will most likely make a decision on its distribution. At the same time, such factors as the duration of the marriage and the contributions of each spouse to this inheritance will be taken into account.

Alimony and spousal maintenance

Alimony or maintenance is paid by one of the spouses to the other in accordance with the divorce agreement or by a court decision. Can an inheritance be taken in a divorce? Sometimes inheritance is also taken into account when calculating the amount of necessary payments that one of the spouses must pay. It depends on state law and the individual circumstances of the case.

It is worth noting that in most states the law protects the inheritance from creditors in a divorce. That is, if one of the spouses inherits money or property during the marriage, these assets will remain with him and will not be taken by creditors as part of the divorce agreement. Therefore, it is important to be competent about the distribution of inheritance in a divorce. Being aware of all the details, the couple will be able to make informed decisions about their financial future.

Scenario Outcome
Inheritance received prior to marriage Generally considered separate property and not subject to division in a divorce. However, if the inheritance was commingled with marital assets, it may be subject to division.
Inheritance received during marriage Generally considered separate property, but may be subject to division if it was commingled with marital assets or used to benefit the marriage or family.
Inheritance received by one spouse but intended for both spouses Usually considered marital property and subject to division in a divorce.
Inheritance received by one spouse but used for separate purposes Generally considered separate property and not subject to division, unless it was commingled with marital assets.
Inheritance received by both spouses jointly Considered marital property and subject to division in a divorce, unless otherwise specified in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Tax consequences


It is important to be aware of certain cases where inheritance affects alimony and property distribution. For example, if one of the spouses used inherited money to improve the joint property or pay off the joint debt of the spouses, then this inheritance can be taken into account when dividing the property upon divorce.

It is also important to consider the tax consequences of inheriting any money and assets in a divorce. If the owner owned the asset for more than one year before filing Georgia divorce papers online, then these funds are subject to long-term capital gains tax. Any income from the inheritance must be reflected in the tax return. This generally leads to increased tax liability for both divorcing partners.

Claims of creditors

Inherited assets that are not kept separate from marital property may be subject to attachment by creditors during a divorce. For example, if someone alone inherited a large amount of money and put it into a joint account with their partner, the creditor will have access to these funds during the divorce process. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to keep the inheritance separate from any joint accounts acquired during the marriage.

If inherited assets are already seized by creditors before the divorce is finalized, they are not divided during the division of property in the divorce process. Also, any debts related to the inheritance must be paid off before the process of distributing the property begins. Spouses should discuss any potential creditor claims with their counsel. A lawyer will provide professional advice on how to settle any claims before starting the divorce process.

Estate Planning Considerations


State laws regarding property division may vary, but in general, any assets acquired during the marriage are subject to division upon divorce. This also applies to inheritance received during marriage. Certain factors are taken into account by the judge when making the distribution:

  • the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition and maintenance of assets;
  • financial needs of partners after divorce.

Different factors also affect how much does inheritance get divided in a divorce.


  • if someone received a large inheritance before or during the marriage, they can use it instead of any other assets that are subject to distribution in the divorce.
  • if the inheritance was used as a down payment for shared property, such as a house or a car, this affects the distribution of that property. Making changes to your estate plan before or during your marriage can ensure that your inheritance remains intact during a divorce. The best option would be to create trusts or prenuptial agreements. These documents clearly define the order of inheritance if you decide to divorce. By taking these steps before marriage, you are guaranteed to separate your inheritance from the marital property that is subject to distribution upon divorce.