What happens to my inheritance during a divorce?

While going through a divorce, you probably have quite a few questions regarding property division, especially if your marriage was a long one. Laws regarding property division during a divorce vary from state to state.

The following information details inheritance property laws in New Jersey.

How New Jersey treats inheritances during a divorce

According to the experts at FindLaw, if you receive an inheritance it is typically considered separate property and is not considered subject to division between you and your spouse during your divorce. If you buy items with the money from your inheritance, those things are typically considered separate property as well. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. If you purchase a boat, for example, with your inheritance money but you and your spouse’s names are both on the title, the boat could qualify as marital property instead.

Other exceptions to the rule

Marital property typically includes any assets you accumulate during your marriage and is subject to equitable distribution during a divorce. While a straightforward inheritance is generally categorized as separate property, there are situations where it may qualify as marital property. If your inheritance goes into an account joint account with your spouse and you use it for living expenses or to pay down joint debt, it is then considered commingled funds. Another example is using your inheritance to invest in a business that you and your spouse both operate.

Additionally, if you gift a portion of your inheritance to your spouse during your marriage it then becomes marital property, which will also be subject to division.