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Does your inheritance count as marital property?

If you are thinking about divorce, you may be worried about how splitting from your husband will affect the property you acquired both before and during the marriage. You may be particularly concerned about a large inheritance you received when your parents passed away. Will your husband be entitled to any part of the money or real estate your parents left you?

Just like with other states, Colorado marital property laws can be complicated. Your best source of information when it comes to divorce is an experienced family law attorney in the Denver area. A lawyer that has experience with high asset divorces can help you take the necessary steps to protect your interests. Read further for more information on how divorce can affect inherited property.

Inheriting while married

In general, courts do not view inheritances as marital property. In most situations, the court treats inherited property as separate and solely belonging to the person that received it. This means that inheritances are usually not part of a divorce settlement. However, if you treated the inheritance as joint property during your marriage, you may experience some difficulties during the divorce process. For example, if you used your inheritance for joint expenses or deposited it into a joint bank account, the court may decide all or part of it is subject to marital property division laws.

Property inherited before marriage

If you inherited the property before your marriage, the court will usually treat it as separate property. However, the same situation may arise if you commingled marital property with your inherited property during the course of your marriage. This means that if you had an account dedicated to your inheritance and deposited marital funds into it, the court might decide that it is fair game when it comes to dividing assets.

Commingling without the intention to share

If you commingled your inheritance with your joint funds but had no intention of actually sharing the money with your spouse, you might be able to protect some, if not all, of it. The court will require you to prove that you not only did you not have any intention of sharing the funds but that your spouse was completely aware of your intent.

If you are considering divorce and you are worried about your inheritance or any other high-value assets, it is important to seek appropriate legal advice. Since divorce can be complex, especially when it comes to property division, you should take every possible action to ensure you protect your interests.

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