In some situations, when one person gets an inheritance from their parents, they share it with their spouse. Both people may view this as a joint asset from the very beginning, perhaps, just using it to pay the bills or making a major purchase, like a family home.
However, those who worry that they may be getting a divorce in the future might be concerned about exactly how they handle that inheritance. They don’t want to risk having to split it with their spouse if they do get a divorce. They want to ensure that the money from their parents will stay in their family.
If you find yourself in this position, what should you do?
Keeping your assets separate
The big thing to remember is that commingling assets – mixing them together or using them jointly – can turn them into shared or marital assets. If you do this and then you get divorced, you may have to split that inheritance with your spouse – even though it was initially just given to you.
The best way to protect against this is just to keep that money separate at all times. Open up a new bank account where you can store it under only your own name. Do not make joint purchases or allow your spouse to use the money independently. It may even be wise to consider getting a postnuptial agreement so that you can officially define that inheritance as separate property.
Financial considerations during a divorce often become contentious. Couples who are going through this process must know about all of the legal options they have at their disposal.