Do I Have To Share My Inheritance With My Spouse During Our Divorce?
That is a very good question that may or may not have a clear answer.
Nevada is a community property state., meaning that any assets that are obtained during the marriage are jointly owned 50/50. So, during a divorce, those assets will begin by being equally divided down the middle, with each couple getting half of the asset.
Inheritance, for example, is something that is supposed to be exempt from community property, meaning that it should be separate property, depending on how it is given and how it is used. For example, if a family member gives both spouses an inheritance, then those spouses are both equally owners of that inheritance, and therefore, that inheritance can be divided equally.
If a family member gives one spouse only inheritance and that inheritance comes directly to that spouse, then that inheritance is supposed to be separate property, meaning it is not to be equally divided.
However, and this is the big if, if that inheritance is placed in a joint bank account, the funds are now being commingled into something that is previously owned by both parties, and therefore, this separate property inheritance can now be arguably joint property because it was placed in an account that is owned by both parties.
The same thing can be said if this inheritance money was used to, for example, pay off a mortgage that is in both of the spouse’s names. Now, that separate property is changed from separate to joint and it can be subject to an equitable or equal division by the courts.
The question now would be, what was the intent in doing that? Was the intention to commingle that, to make that separate property into community property?
Remember, inheritance money is by nature, in the beginning, supposed to be separate property. However, it can be changed from separate to joint depending on how it is used. So, if your intention is to keep it separate, please make sure that you’re very careful in how you allocate that money, where you place that money, and what access your spouse might have to that money if your intention is to keep it separate.
If you wish to discuss this topic further, please go to vegasdivorcemeeting.com. I’ll be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss this situation.
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