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What Happens to Inheritances in Divorce?

As most people know, Florida is a 50/50 state, where marital assets are split evenly down the line in a divorce.

What happens, though, to assets gained for personal reasons such as inheritances?

Well, as mentioned before, all marital assets are split 50/50, but fortunately, it is possible for some asset to be considered nonmarital. It is also possible for things to be split unequally if there is a strong reason for it, but for all intents and purposes, it’s safest to assume that marital assets will be split evenly.

Marital assets are things like joint bank accounts, houses purchased after getting married, vehicles with both names on them, interest gained from investments during marriage, etc. Nonmarital assets can be things like property owned before getting married, and gifts from others to one particular spouse.

It gets quite a bit trickier from there, unfortunately. If a nonmarital asset’s value is increased due to actions taken by both spouses, then it could become a marital asset.

The division of marital assets, determining which assets are nonmarital, and even determining what portions of marital assets can be considered nonmarital is all up to the courts.

To answer the original question simply, if the inheritance was placed in a joint account, it is likely to be considered marital by means of a “gift”. If it was placed in an individual account, the inheritance it earned could be considered marital, but the principal amount itself is likely to be considered nonmarital.

Obviously, this is a very complex area of divorce, so if you have any questions about this or any other family law subject, contact a skilled attorney right away.

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