When parents leave behind money for their children, they do not intend for it to be taken by former spouses. But when couples get divorced in Georgia, property division can cause various assets to be divided. If you have received a considerable amount of inheritance money recently, you may be wondering what will happen to this asset. Will your spouse have the ability to take half of your inheritance? How can you protect your inheritance during a divorce?
These are all valid questions, and they are probably best left answered by an experienced family law attorney in Georgia. Our legal professionals have handled many divorces in the past, and we can guide you towards the best possible outcome. As you will see, there are laws in Georgia that protect your inheritance during a divorce – but it also helps to enlist the help of an attorney so you can fight for your rights to keep your inheritance.
Inheritance is Considered Separate Property
The first thing you need to know about inheritance money is that it is considered “separate property.” This means that it is not subject to equitable distribution in the same way as marital assets. Typically, separate property only includes assets that were acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation. However, an exception is made for inheritance, and this is always considered separate property – even if you received this money during your marriage. In other words, you get to keep your inheritance money.
Never Conceal Assets
Even if you are worried about your inheritance money being taken away, you should never try to conceal it. Doing so will likely result in considerable legal consequences. Even though your spouse probably has no claim to your inheritance, you still need to be honest and open about the extent of your wealth, income, and net worth. Your inheritance money may become a factor when alimony and child support are calculated. This is why you always need to provide your spouse and their attorney with as much information about your finances as possible.
The Dangers of Commingled Assets
To experience the full benefits of separate property, you need to keep the property separate. In other words, you should not mix your inheritance money with marital property. A typical example involves a home purchase. A spouse might decide to use their inheritance money to put a down payment on a home during the marriage. However, if the other spouse starts paying the mortgage, the home becomes a marital asset. This means that it may be difficult to “extract” your inheritance money from the home since it has been “commingled” with marital property.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Georgia area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses – including those who are concerned about their inheritance money. This is a common issue among older divorcing spouses, and we know exactly how to make sure you keep hold of the money your parents meant for you, and you alone. Book your consultation today to learn more about your legal options.