You know that your inheritance was intended for you and only you. However, it’s also a financial asset. Now that your spouse has asked for a divorce, they want to claim a portion of it for themselves — along with other marital assets.
Should you be concerned? Can your spouse take that inheritance?
Was it commingled?
One of the biggest questions whether or not the inheritance money was commingled with your other assets. How did you use that inheritance? Was it clearly yours, or can your spouse reasonably claim that it was theirs as well?
For instance, maybe your parents gave you the money, and you invested all of it in your own account. You never spent any. Your spouse never used it or even had access to the account. Odds are that you can keep the entire contents of that account.
On the other hand, maybe you just put the money in the bank. Some of it was spent paying the mortgage. You bought a new family car. The rest of it stayed in a joint account where your spouse could use it if they wanted, as could you. Chances are that commingling the funds means your spouse does have a claim because you already established that you wanted to share the money with them.
Protecting what is yours
Financial issues like this can really make a divorce far more complicated than it would be otherwise, especially when you and your spouse see things differently. Be sure you know what you can do to protect what is yours. An experienced attorney can help