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Is your inheritance still separate property?

You know that your mother never intended for you to sell the Michigan home she left to you so you could divide the proceeds with your spouse in the divorce. However, when you start doing the inventory required for the property division process, you may wonder whether it legally counts as marital property. If so, your spouse is entitled to an equitable portion in the divorce agreement. If you have successfully kept it separate from your marital assets, it is not subject to division.

According to Findlaw, the separate or marital status of your inheritance depends on a number of factors. Your property could be subject to equitable division if you and your spouse used it as a vacation home and made updates or repairs to it using marital assets. In this situation, you have essentially shared the home with your spouse, and the property is considered commingled. If you also inherited funds that you kept in a separate account, and you used those for the upkeep of the home, you may have successfully maintained separate property. Once funds are deposited in a joint account, though, they become marital property, and should not be used on the property.

If you inherited the property before you married, and you and your spouse created a prenuptial agreement, it is likely that you will not have to divide the property. However, these documents are not always airtight. This information is general in nature, and is provided for educational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an attorney’s advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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