Throughout a divorce, there are many different matters that need to be taken care of before the split is official. One of the more difficult ones is the division of assets between the spouses. In order to divide a couple’s assets, the court examines the ones they have together and separately. They are then divided based on the process of equitable distribution. When facing these situations, spouses often wonder which assets they will be able to keep, especially if one of them has an inheritance. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.
Can Inherited Assets be Subject to Equitable Distribution?
When the court divides assets based on equitable distribution, it means the division is fair and just, not necessarily equal. To determine what is fair, the court will look into which assets are marital property and which are separate property. Marital property is assets inherited throughout the duration of the marriage. Separate property is assets that are inherited before the marriage unless converted into marital property. Under New Jersey law, inherited assets are considered separate property and not subject to equitable distribution, therefore it cannot be distributed to the other spouse in a divorce.
However, it is important to note that there is an exception. If an inherited asset is mixed together with a marital asset, it is no longer exempt. For example, if a spouse deposits their inheritance into a joint account, it can be subject to equitable distribution. In addition to this, if the inheritance produces income or growth, it may be divided in a divorce.
Can an Inheritance be Used for Support?
While inherited assets can be exempt from equitable distribution in most situations, there are other cases where it can be used after a divorce. This may be the case for sake of support payments, such as alimony or even child support.
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