Your inheritance if you divorce: Do you have to share it with your husband or wife?

# Your inheritance if you divorce

inheritance if you divorce
What happens to your inheritance if you divorce?

 
Normally, you don’t have to share your money from inheritance if you divorce but there could be times when you do. It depends on you and how you handled the inheritance during the marriage.
You see, your inheritance is what is called “separate property” normally and usually you don’t have to share your inheritance if you divorce.
That trust fund you inherited from daddy is usually yours and yours alone, it is not marital property and when you divorce your spouse can’t make a claim against it. At least, that the general rule. However if you commingled the funds by depositing it into a joint account with the intent that your spouse can use it equally, or if you buy a home that becomes the marital home (which your spouse promptly pays for improvements upon) or if you  in any way allow your spouse to contribute to the increase of the value of the funds, whether through investment management, or allowing your spouse to choose those items of your inherited fund that they want then you could “transmute a separate property to a marital property” and then the trust fund is fair game in a divorce.
So be careful during your marriage to keep your inheritance money separate so that if you divorce you will not have to share it with your spouse. Of course, if you are asking this question when the divorce is already underway and you have already comingled the money, there is not much you can do. The money is now fair game for your spouse to demand a piece of it. The rule applies if you inherit cash or property or securities or any type of asset.
Two cases of interest are Spencer v. Spencer 646 NYS 2d 674 (1996) and McGarrity v. McGarrity 622 N.Y.S. 2d 521 (1995). You can also look at Clark v. Clark 683 NYS 2d 255 (1999).
 
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