If you received an inheritance after you married, you may worry that you could lose it in a divorce. In many situations, it is not community property, and it belongs to you outright. However, the court may have the final say if it becomes a point of contention during the divorce proceedings.
According to the IRS, spouses equally share assets and debts under a community property system.
The court typically views property acquired during your union as community property. Each of you receives an equal portion when you divorce. There are exceptions to this guideline, however. In a divorce settlement, the following property is often classified as “separate” and not subject to division.
- Property acquired by one spouse as a gift
- Property acquired by one spouse before the marriage
- Property acquired during the marriage by one spouse through inheritance
Your inheritance, though generally considered separate property, may become community property in some instances.
If you take action that makes your inheritance look like community property, the court might view it as such. This could include adding community assets into the account that holds the inheritance or adding your spouse’s name to the account. If you owe taxes on the inheritance and pay it using community property, the court may determine it is community property.
You can take steps before the divorce that ensure specific assets remain with you if the marriage dissolves. You might also compromise on a particular property through negotiation that helps you keep your inheritance.
Understanding the formalities regarding property division in Texas is critical for obtaining a favorable divorce settlement.