When divorcing, dividing assets can be a tedious process. Generally, both spouses are entitled to income earned during a marriage. This money is considered marital property and is subject to equitable division.
However, in Massachusetts, property can also be considered separate property. Under separate property designation, assets owned before the marriage typically go to the spouse who previously owned the property. Therefore, if an inheritance was received prior to marriage, the original owner will generally maintain sole ownership.
Additionally, any future inheritance that a person might receive will not be included in a divorce agreement. Inheritances that are obtained during a marriage, on the other hand, is where things can get complicated.
Massachusetts divorce law follows something known as equitable distribution when dividing property. Courts attempt to divide all property between a divorcing couple fairly. Unfortunately, this means the spouse who brought inherited property into a marriage will not always be the person to receive that property during a divorce.
The Inherited property will be divided according to who managed the property during the marriage, and if splitting the inheritance will make a divorce agreement more equal.
For difficult to navigate divorce situations like this, you need an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney to help you during this difficult time. Contact our office today so we can protect your interests and help you reach a fair agreement.