Ordway Law Group, LLC
Ordway Law Group, LLC
Divorce & Family Law

Can my spouse take my inheritance during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Divorce |

Divorce can raise questions about what happens to inherited real estate and personal property acquired during the marriage. You may also wonder about inheritances received before your wedding.

In Georgia, the treatment of inherited assets in divorce proceedings depends on several factors.

Equitable distribution

Georgia follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that marital property division is fair, though not necessarily equal, in a divorce. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage, such as income, real estate and personal property, regardless of whose name is on the title.

Real estate

Inherited real estate is typically considered separate property, meaning it belongs solely to the inheriting spouse and is not subject to division in a divorce. However, if that spouse commingled the inherited property with marital assets or used it to benefit the marriage, it may become subject to equitable distribution.

Personal property

Personal property inherited by one spouse is also generally considered separate property. However, if that spouse used inherited funds to purchase marital assets or improve the marital home, the other spouse may have a claim to a portion of the value added.

Appreciated separate property

If you acquired a gift or inheritance before marriage that appreciated during the marriage, Georgia law may still consider it separate property. However, any increase in value during the marriage may be subject to division as marital property.

Factors considered

When determining how to divide marital property, Georgia courts consider various factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • Any prior agreements between the spouses regarding property division
  • Each spouse’s earning potential and financial needs post-divorce

Courts may also examine any misconduct or fault that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. Depending on these factors, the court may award the inheriting spouse full ownership of the inherited property or may divide its value equitably between the spouses.

Protect your inheritance

It is important to remember that each divorce case is different. However, understanding the treatment of inherited assets and the principles of equitable distribution can help you navigate the divorce process and help ensure a fair resolution to the division of assets.

Ordway Law Group, LLC – A Reputation For Excellence In Resolving Complex Divorces


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