In California, will an inheritance be affected by my divorce? - Child Custody Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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In California, will an inheritance be affected by my divorce?

I live in California, and have tried to work everything out with my husband but am finally ready to move forward. I received a sizeable inheritance from a family member about 6 years ago. Will this be protected? If I hire a good enough lawyer, could I be able to protect it?

Answer By Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron
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It depends on how you have handled the inheritance. At law it is your separate property unless it was left by name to the two of you. However, if you have commingled it with funds belonging to the community, then the waters are muddier. There is a presumption in California that all property owned by either spouse in a marriage is community property, and it is the burden of the person claiming property as separate property to prove it. As I said, if the inheritance has never been commingled, then proof is simple. If it has, then you may need the assistance of an accountant as well as a lawyer to trace the funds and show that they originated in the inheritance.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011

Answer By Paul M. Teinert
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
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If you received an inheritance in California this is considered separate property. The inheritance will remain the beneficiary's individual property at divorce.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011

Answer By Patrick Curry
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
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Inheritance is your separate property, hire a good family law attorney.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011

Answer By Matthew E. Lax
Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law
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Yes, if the money comes from an inheritance to you, your spouse should not any interest in the inheritance. If you need to hire an attorney to help you, please feel free to give me a call.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011

Answer By Zephyr Hill
Goldberg Jones
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Inheritance (or any gift) is separate property when it is received. If you kept your separate than it is yours and should not require a fight at all. Everyone knows the rule and your spouse should not try and take half of what is not his.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011

Answer By Diana K. Zilko
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
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Your inheritance may be protected it if you have not co-mingled it with community assets. If the funds have been kept separate, or can be easily traced to your separate property inheritance, then it should be protected. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/16/2011

Maclean Chung Law Firm
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Inheritance is generally considered to be separate property that you would not need to split with your spouse. A good attorney can definitely help you protect any separate property from claims that your spouse may make. Feel free to contact our office if you would like a free initial consultation.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/15/2011

Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
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Assuming that you didn't commingle your inheritance with community property, it would remain your separate property. If you did commingle it with community property, you would need to have your separate property portion "traced" to preserve and/or assert your right to your traceable separate property. If you put your inheritance in assets under your and your husband's joint names, Family Code Section 2640 would preserve your rights to traceable separate property in those assets. A good Family Law Attorney would know how to best protect and assert your separate property rights.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/15/2011

Answer By Stephen Pearcy
Law Office of Stephen Pearcy
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Inheritances are separate property.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/15/2011

Answer By Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
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You did offer enough information to fully advise you, but in general, inheritance is separate property. I cannot tell if you are only now filing for divorce, or filed previously. If there has been income from inherited assets during the marriage, there are two main ways of computing any possible quasi-community property interest your soon-to-be exspouse may have in the property. Either way, he has no legal claim to the money/property you inherited, and only a marginal potential claim on any increase in value of the assets. These are things that can be litigated by a competent attorney, or agreed upon via a Stipulated Judgment.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/15/2011

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