The division of assets can be a stressful time for anyone going through a divorce. As family law attorneys, our mission is to help our clients receive the fairest divorce agreement possible. Whether they face making payments to their spouse or need money, we always work to protect their rights and make the process as even as possible for them.
Sometimes, a divorcing person might be concerned about losing or dividing an inheritance. Since inherited money or property is usually given to a specific person through a legal document, many people believe that their inheritance is an untouchable asset during a divorce agreement. However, this not always true.
Are Inheritances Separate or Marital Property?
In Massachusetts, property is divided into two classes during a divorce: marital and separate. In simplest terms, separate property is anything obtained by someone before their marriage. Marital property is any item or income made during a divorce. To learn more about separate and marital property, you can read our blog about the subject.
While there are times that separate property is brought into a divorce agreement, the person who owned the property before the marriage typically receives it. So, if the inheritance was obtained before marriage, the original owner will likely be able to avoid splitting it up. Importantly, any inheritance that a person might receive in the future is not included in a divorce agreement. When inheritances are obtained during a marriage, things can get complicated.
When Courts Include Inheritance in Divorce Agreements
When dividing property, courts follow something known as equitable distribution. This means a court will try to fairly divide all property between a divorcing couple. This means that the person who brought inherited property into a marriage will not always receive that property during a divorce.
Courts will divide inherited property based on facts such as:
- Who managed the property during the marriage
- If splitting an inheritance will make a divorce agreement more equal
Call (508) 502-7002 for Help Today from Our Massachusetts Divorce Lawyers
If an agreement can be reached without a court’s intervention, a person might be able to keep their inherited property from being divided. At Miller Law Group, P.C., our experienced Massachusetts divorce attorneys are ready to help you during this difficult time. We’ll protect your interests and help you reach an agreement that’s fair. We know that divorce is hard for the people we help, so we’re constantly working to make sure their needs are met.
For help with your Massachusetts divorce, call us at (508) 502-7002. We’re standing by to answer your questions right now.