Sorting Out Inheritances During Divorce


My wife is hinting at a divorce and I don’t want to fight her. For the last six years we have been living off her inheritance she received when her father passed away. Most of that is in investment accounts, most of which are in her name only.

Additionally, there is a pair of trust funds that distribute to joint accounts.

Since the inheritance is in her name only, am I out of luck in divorce or would some level of spousal support/settlement be appropriate or expected? Does it matter if she moves money that had been in a joint account to one of her private ones?


Diana Bishara attorney New Jersey
New Jersey divorce lawyer Diana Bishara

While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.

Most courts have held that income derived from interests in estates, including inheritances, is considered income for spousal support purposes.

You should be aware that income from an inheritance is different from the inheritance itself. Some states say that the inheritance itself, the “principle,” is also income for spousal support purposes, while others say that only the income from the principle is considered income for spousal support purposes.

Also, if she has comingled her inheritance money into a joint account it may be considered marital property.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including New Jersey divorce lawyer Diana Bishara, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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