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How Does Your Inheritance Affect Your Divorce Case?

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How Does Your Inheritance Affect Your Divorce Case?

August 19, 2023

Inheritance refers to the assets or property that an individual receives as an heir after the passing of a loved one. While an estate can be a significant financial undertaking, its allocation can become complicated when marriage or divorce occurs. Inherited assets may be subject to division during divorce proceedings, raising concerns about protecting what is rightfully yours. 

Understanding the laws surrounding inheritance in Indiana and safeguarding your rights are crucial steps to navigate this complex territory. In this article, we will explore what inheritance entails, the standing laws in Indiana regarding its treatment in divorce cases, and how seeking the assistance of an attorney can help you secure your rightful share.

What is inheritance, and what are the Indiana legalities?

Inheritance includes money, property, or other assets that an individual inherits from a deceased family member or loved one. During a marriage or divorce, inheritance can be classified as separate property, meaning it belongs solely to the recipient and is not subject to division as marital property. However, suppose inheritance funds are commingled with joint marital assets or used to purchase joint property.  In that case, the lines between separate and marital property may blur, making protecting the inheritance in a divorce more challenging.

Indiana follows the principle of “equitable distribution” in divorce cases, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. If the inheritance remains separate and not commingled with joint assets, it should generally be considered non-marital property and not subject to division. 

However, when the lines between separate and marital property become unclear, the court may need to assess the specific circumstances to determine an equitable division.

Safeguarding Your Inheritance

To ensure your inheritance during a marriage or divorce, consider these measures:

  • Keep inheritance Separate: Keep inheritance funds in a separate bank account and avoid commingling them with joint marital funds.
  • Document the Inheritance: Retain documents that establish the inheritance as separate property, such as a will, trust documents, or letters from the executor.
  • Consult an Attorney: Seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney to understand your rights and protect your inheritance during divorce proceedings.

How an Attorney Can Help Represent Your Inheritance Case

 A skilled divorce attorney can be your advocate and guide you through the intricacies of protecting your inheritance. They will:

  • Assess Your Situation: Evaluate your unique circumstances and determine the status of your inheritance as separate or marital property.
  • Advocate for Your Rights: Represent your interests during divorce negotiations, ensuring your inheritance is protected and correctly classified.
  • Negotiate Equitable Division: If necessary, negotiate with your spouse’s attorney to reach a fair and equitable distribution of marital assets while safeguarding your inheritance.

Consult The Bellinger Law Office for expert guidance

If you are facing divorce and are concerned about how your inheritance may be affected, it is essential to seek legal guidance promptly. At The Bellinger Law Office, our dedicated team of divorce attorneys is committed to safeguarding your rights and protecting your inheritance. 

We understand the complexities of divorce cases involving inheritance and will work diligently to achieve your best possible outcome. 

Take the first step towards securing your rightful share and moving forward with your life by consulting The Bellinger Law Office today. Our experienced attorneys are here to support you throughout the process and ensure your interests are well-represented. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

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Robert H. Bellinger

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