If my wife filed for divorce is she entitled to half of my inheritance? 11 Answers as of March 28, 2013

My siblings and I inherited a rental property about 10 years after I got married. We formed a corporation and all took own shares equal to our ownership percentages. All rental income from my share went into our common (community property) bank account for 20 years. She at one time was listed as an "assistant secretary" corporate officer and not a stock holder at any time and was removed from any corp position before she filed for divorce. Wife has now filed for divorce, I know she cannot get my shares in the divorce, but if the property has increased in value since inherited (20 years ago) is she entitled to 50% of my share of the properties increase in value since inherited? Thanks.

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John Russo | John Russo
I certainly hope you have retained a good family law attorney, you have to much at stake not too, you are not a lawyer so use your head here. First of all if I am reading this correctly I believe converted the income portion into marital property years ago, also I would be very careful with the assistant corporate secretary stuff, if she retains a good attorney I can see a valid argument being made on that, even though you never really gave her an ownership interest by not giving her any stock interest, I do see at least an argument being made for an appreciation interest, by making her an assistant anything relevant to the real estate she could argue contribution to the growth of the asset. Now a good divorce lawyer will go for the gold on this, i.e. your actions created a transmutation of the asset, is it valid? Never say never, but I don't see it. It is always easier to negotiate downward when you know you have the other side wondering if even just a little bit, so does she have a possible appreciation argument? Based on the secretary argument, and the length of the marriage, coupled with the fact that I believe you turned the income from the property into a marital asset, the answer is yes, especially if I were representing her. Again I hope you have retained good counsel.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 3/28/2013
WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
In Nevada it would be considered separate property. If the values has gone up due to your efforts, the community may have an interest in the property.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/27/2013
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
Unless community effort or funds were used on the property then the property remains your separate property. You should consult a family law attorney to review all of the facts and advise you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/27/2013
Shur Law Co., LPA
Shur Law Co., LPA | Tonya VanBenschoten
It sounds like your inheritance was initially "separate" property but may have changed into marital. The burden of proving that an asset is "separate" as opposed to "marital" is upon the party that wants it to be "separate" to prove. That party will have to "trace" the asset to being an inheritance to only the one spouse. It would have to be shown that it was not converted to a marital asset Items acquired during the marriage is "marital" regardless of whose name its titled to or drives it, or calls it theirs. Consult with a local family law attorney to dive further into your situation to determine what type of asset it "really" is.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/27/2013
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
No. She is only entitled to one half of things earned during marriage not gifts or inheritance
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/27/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    This is a complicated question. No one can answer this without getting a lot more info from you. In New Jersey, what you inherit belongs to you, no split with exwife. BUT she is involved in the company so it is not clear. Before you do anything, talk to a divorce lawyer. And do that soon.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Woods, May & Matlock, PC
    Woods, May & Matlock, PC | Robert J. Matlock
    If you can trace the assets that were inherited, they are separate property and must be awarded to you. I suggest you hire a lawyer because tracing is a very technical process and if not properly done will result in loss of the separate property status.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    As long as you have maintained the separate status of the property, then it is not community property under Idaho law. Talk with your attorney about it, but inherited property that is kept separate is the classic case.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Carey and Leisure | John Smitten
    Generally inherited property by one spouse during the marriage is non-marital property unless you add her name as part owner.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
    She isn't entitled to any part of it unless you performed services for it or the community spent money on it. You should get an attorney to help you prove its your separate property. You have The burden of proof.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    No, an inheritance is your separate property. As long as she was not placed on title or there is not a separate agreement between the two of you, it remains your separate property. However, any monies you received and deposited into a community account are considered community property and you cannot seek reimbursement for those contributions. Please feel free to call me to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
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