The equitable distribution process is a complicated one, and if you are getting divorced, you are most likely worried about what will happen to many of your assets, including any inheritances you may have received. Read on and reach out to our Los Angeles divorce attorneys to learn more about whether your inheritance may be at stake in a divorce. Here are some of the questions you may have:
How do courts in California determine how property is distributed?
California courts will consider a wide array of financial and other factors when determining which assets belong to which spouse in a divorce. To start the equitable distribution process, however, they will first have to categorize your property as either marital property or separate property. Generally, marital property includes all assets acquired during the course of a marriage, while separate property includes assets acquired prior to or outside of a marriage, such as gifts, and, typically, inheritances. Marital property is subject to equitable distribution, while separate property is not.
Will my inheritance be considered marital property if I get divorced?
As previously stated, in most cases, inheritances are considered separate property, and are, therefore, ineligible for equitable distribution. That being said, if your former spouse and his or her attorney can prove that your inheritances have been commingled with other marital assets, a portion of your inheritance may actually be at stake. For example, if you received an inheritance and you then deposited that inheritance into a jointly-owned bank account between you and your spouse, your inheritance may now be classified as a marital asset, and is, therefore, subject to equitable distribution.
Will I have to use my inheritance to make spousal support or child support payments?
As long as you keep up with your child support and spousal support payments, you should be able to draw from whichever funds you choose to make those payments. However, if you are behind on support payments and the court has been notified of this, they may have the liberty to draw from various funds and assets of yours to ensure that you make the payments to which your former spouse is entitled. In this case, if need be, they may draw from your inheritance and put it towards child or spousal support. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call today.
Contact our experienced Los Angeles firm
Divorce and family law issues are notoriously complicated and personal, which is why you must hire an attorney with years of experience, as well as the compassion and skill needed to handle these sensitive matters. For the qualified, dedicated legal representation you and your family deserve and need, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.