Going through a divorce is stressful even when the parties agree to an equal and amicable split. The more money and property you have between you, the more complicated your case may be.
You may have assets or property that you do not want to be divided in divorce proceedings, such as an inheritance. How do you protect possessions or monies that were distinctly meant for you?
Distribution of marital property in a divorce
Marital assets are those you acquire during your marriage. In a divorce, the court divides these assets according to the Pennsylvania equitable division statutes, which require judges to consider multiple factors including but not limited to:
- The length of your marriage
- The contributions of you and your spouse to the marital property
- The value of your assets
In most divorce cases, the distribution of property is not quite equal, but considered fair based on the judge’s assessment.
Protecting your inheritance
Even if you receive your inheritance during your marriage, it is possible to keep it in a divorce. If you maintain the funds in a separate account and refrain from comingling any of your own money with joint property, then the court can consider it a nonmarital asset during the property division process.
However, the categorization of inheritances is not always so clear and definite. If your inheritance has earned interest throughout your marriage, then that money may be part of the marital estate and subject to a judge’s ruling.
The best way to ensure you keep your inheritance is to understand the complexities of property division in Pennsylvania and take steps to ensure it remains nonmarital property.