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Will an inheritance impact your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | DIVORCE - Divorce

Property division is a complicated affair, especially when you involve external factors like the death of a loved one. Inheritances, when someone arranges them through shrewd estate planning, can pay out during a marriage, in the middle of a divorce or afterwards.

What happens to your inheritance if you get divorced? Does it matter who you get it from? Is an inheritance void if you receive it from your ex’s family? These are all complex matters to attend to during a divorce.

Inheritances during marriage

New Jersey law states that any inheritance is yours alone unless you gift it somehow to your spouse. One way an inheritance may fall into marital property is if the documentation specifically mentions both you and your spouse. The other involves your spouse claiming that you gifted them a portion of the inheritance.

Inheritances during divorce

While New Jersey statutes remain in place during a divorce, the death of a loved one and the influx of a potential inheritance may still rock the boat. During litigation, it may cause tensions and emotions to flare up in an otherwise peaceful process.

Accounting for inheritances

Clear documentation is key when working through a divorce. If you received an inheritance before or during a divorce, it is important to make sure the wording of the inheritance clearly makes you the sole beneficiary.

In the event of confusion or contestation, there is more information available to learn about your unique situation in order to determine how you keep what is yours.