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Inheritances in Divorce

Family Law Attorneys Representing Nashville Residents

Bequeathing an inheritance is often a carefully thought out and personal choice. As a result, meticulous considerations are taken in designating that person with certain assets, and these considerations should not necessarily be affected by a beneficiary’s divorce proceedings. But the distinction between what is separate property and what is marital property may become complicated when assets are comingled, or a couple has been married for a significant amount of time. The Nashville divorce lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC help people going through family court proceedings determine which assets may be subject to division and which assets remained separate during the course of a marriage.

As one of the most technologically advanced firms in Tennessee, MHPS PLLC uses cutting-edge techniques and seasoned legal knowledge to determine valuations of complicated assets in a divorce. Our attorneys can assist you with all aspects of your divorce proceedings, from initial filings to negotiations and any necessary litigation.

Inheritances in Divorce

Separate property generally consists of any assets acquired before the marriage, as well as certain specified assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage. On the other hand, assets accumulated by the couple during the course of the marriage are considered marital property. Tennessee requires that marital property be equitably divided when a couple divorces, but separate property is immune from such distribution.

Under Tennessee law, inheritances are considered separate property, whether they are acquired during or before the marriage. However, how inheritance money is used during a marriage may change its status from separate to marital. Income derived from an inheritance may be converted into a marital asset if both spouses contribute to its growth. As a result, if money from an inheritance is used in combination with a spouse’s earnings to purchase property, such as a family home, that property would be considered marital property upon divorce.

Comingling inheritance assets with other marital property in such a way that it is difficult to trace also may change its separate status. For instance, when an individual deposits an inheritance into a joint savings account to which each spouse adds over the course of many years, those assets are then comingled, making them marital property subject to division. However, if an inheritance is deposited in a separate bank account controlled only by the heir, that property is likely to be considered separate.

Contact a Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Nashville or Beyond

Couples often do not plan their property in anticipation of a future divorce. Thus, situations in which the distinctions between separate and marital assets are blurred often arise, and this may create tension during divorce proceedings. The Nashville divorce attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC offer seasoned legal advocacy for people involved in these proceedings. Our firm represents people across Davidson and Williamson Counties, including in East Nashville, Franklin, Bellevue, and Cool Springs, in all of the issues that may arise during a divorce. If you need to explore your legal rights and options with an experienced family law attorney, contact us online or call us at 615-800-7096 to set up a free appointment.