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How divorce affects an inheritance

One of the issues that frequently comes up in Texas property division cases is whether an ex-spouse has a share in inheritance funds acquired during the marriage. In many cases, the use of the funds after receipt has a lot to do with whether division becomes an issue.

Although Texas is a community property state, money from an inheritance is separate from marital property. However, if the funds were deposited into a joint bank account or otherwise commingled, the funds become community property. People who wish to prevent the division of inheritance money are advised to put these funds in a separate account.

Another common issue that frequently arises is when there is money involved that one spouse had before the marriage. Even if it was separate, it might be community property if jointly held in a bank account. This issue is one that many couples try to avoid by using prenuptial agreements.

One option that some take advantage of is attempting to prove that the property was not intended to be jointly held. Property only intended for one person is an issue that arises when the inheritance funds were for one spouse, but not the other. However, it is important for a spouse seeking this option to have proof that the funds were only intended for their use.

The distribution of inheritance funds following a divorce is one of the aspects of family law that couples most often have questions about. While many divorces occur without any problems, inherited funds might cause some difficulty. An attorney who has experience in these matters can be of assistance in this regard.

Source: Findlaw, "Inheritance and Divorce", November 26, 2014

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