Using Inherited Assets for Marital Purposes

๐Œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐“๐จ ๐€๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐ ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐†๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฏ๐จ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐
๐Œ๐ˆ๐’๐“๐€๐Š๐„: ๐‘ˆ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘›โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘”๐‘–๐‘“๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ /๐‘๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘š๐‘–๐‘›๐‘”๐‘™๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘ 

Many people receive significant financial gifts from family members for estate planning purposes or get valuable assets as part of an inheritance. When this happens, it can be tempting to use those funds to purchase a new house with your spouse, pay off marital debts, or otherwise contribute the money to your household. You might even think nothing of depositing inherited or gifted funds into your joint accounts with your spouse. While commingling assets may seem to be the best decision for your family, it can cause serious problems if you decide to get divorced.
Separate vs. Marital Property
When you get divorced, New Jersey law requires that you distribute all marital property in an equitable manner, while each spouse keeps their separate property. Generally speaking, a family gift or inheritance that you receive in your name would be considered separate property for you to retain. This can all change, however.

If you use your inheritance or gifted assets for marital purposes or you commingle those assets with marital assets, it can transition into marital property. For example:

โ— You inherit $600,000 from your parents
โ— You use the money to purchase a house for your family and live in the home with your spouse for several years
โ— Upon a divorce, the home would likely be considered to be marital property even though it was purchased with your separate assets

It is always wise to be careful with assets you inherit, and you might want to discuss how to protect those assets from a divorce with a qualified attorney.
Seek Advice from an Experienced Morristown Divorce Attorney
Our Morristown divorce lawyers at Eveland & Foster, LLC handle complex property division issues in divorce cases.

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