Inheritance & Divorce – Is it Mine?

Who gets an inheritance after a divorce?

Inheritance questions arise with some regularity in divorce cases.  The question often goes: my parents left the money to me so it is mine, right?

Although this does not sound like a question, it is.  In this case, one spouse  was left money by their parents during the marriage.  A divorce action has now been filed and the question of how to address this asset arises.

How do we classify the inherited asset for divorce purposes?  As the famous line goes, it depends.  First, we look to see how the asset was left to an individual spouse.  A proper Last Will & Testament or Trust Instrument clearly showing the devise to one spouse individually is a good start.

Next, we look to see how the asset has been managed by the spouse since it was inherited.  Was the inherited money kept by the spouse whom received it in a separate account in their name alone.  Was the inherited money used to support the lifestyle of the marriage or pay expenses of the marriage.  These questions must be answered to determine if the inherited asset was “co-mingled”.

A bequeath or devise to one spouse individually from a third party is often times initially presumed to be a non-marital asset.  This means that it will start out as their own separate asset.  However, intentional action must be taken to preserve this gift as a non-marital asset.

If you have questions about divorce, call us to schedule an initial divorce consultation.

Working with each client to achieve a low conflict divorce allows our firm to provide fixed fee divorce options.  Our fixed fees are published on our website at:  under fixed pricing.

About the Author

Chadwick Layton, Esq. Collaborative Divorce AttorneyChadwick M. Layton is a marital law and divorce attorney at Mindful Divorce, P.A. in Palm Beach County, FL.  Mr. Layton is also a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section, the Susan B. Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club.

Mindful Divorce P.A.
205 Worth Ave. Suite 303
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Phone (561) 537-8227
Office E-Mail:

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