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What happens if I receive an inheritance during my divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Divorce, Property Division |

Divorce is already a complex and emotionally draining process. When an inheritance enters the equation, it can further complicate matters and make it even harder for the divorcing couple.

How does Alabama treat an inheritance received during divorce proceedings?

In Alabama, any assets acquired before the marriage, including inheritances, are usually considered separate property. This means that if you received an inheritance before getting married, it is yours to keep, and the court will not consider that asset as marital property.

If a party receives an inheritance during the divorce proceedings the court would likely treat it as it would any other asset involved in the divorce. The individual who received the inheritance has the burden of proving to the court that the inheritance is separate property.

However, if you receive an inheritance and mix it in with marital assets or use it for the benefit of the marriage, the court may consider the inheritance as marital property.

Once you mix your inheritance with marital funds, it can become challenging to determine whether it is still separate property. Therefore, if people want to keep their inheritance for themselves, they must be cautious and understand the law.

Equitable distribution

Alabama follows the equitable distribution doctrine, meaning that the courts divide marital property fairly but not equally. Even though an inheritance may be separate property, it could influence the division of assets because the court could look at it when deciding what is fair in the eyes of the law.

Regarding property issues in divorce, things can sometimes get very messy. Inheritances, especially larger ones, further complicate divorce proceedings and could worsen the situation. However, with proper counsel and knowledge of the law, you will have a better understanding of how the court makes its decisions.