Is my spouse entitled to my inheritance?
The equitable distribution statute is found at N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1. Put simply, assets and liabilities acquired by either party from the date of the marriage through the date that a divorce complaint is filed are subject to equitable distribution (i.e. division). However, there are situations where certain assets may be excluded from equitable distribution. One of these situations involves the receipt of an inheritance.
If one person receives an inheritance (whether it be cash or property) that person must be careful with what they do with the inheritance to ensure that it is protected from equitable distribution. If the inheritance is comingled with joint assets than there is a greater likelihood that it will be considered joint marital property subject to equitable distribution. Examples would include depositing money in a joint account or purchasing property in joint names.
It is recommended that a party receiving an inheritance (a) spend or invest in such a way to avoid comingling and (b) keep accurate records concerning the receipt of the inheritance and the subsequent expenditures.
All of the attorneys at Domers & Bonamassa are well versed and have years of experience addressing family law issues, no matter how complicated. Contact us today at (856) 596-2888 for a private consultation. We appear in the following counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Mercer, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May. Our practice areas include: divorce, custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, domestic violence, college expenses, equitable distribution, name changes, step parent adoptions, paternity issues, child abuse and neglect, prenuptial agreements, mediation and arbitration.
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