Upcoming divorce, property division and the inheritance question



If you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, you will begin thinking about the property division phase of your divorce.

Tennessee is an equitable division state, meaning there must be a fair division of your assets and debts. Does this include the inheritance from your Uncle Ned?

Preparing for property division

During the years of your marriage, you may have accumulated significant assets, many of which are likely financial. Preparing for property division might seem a daunting task. It takes time to gather together documents such as tax returns, pay stubs and bank account and retirement account statements. However, making lists of your marital and separate assets will help you stay organized.

The inheritance issue

A few years ago, your Uncle Ned died and left you a sizable inheritance. How did you manage the inheritance? If you deposited the money into a separate bank account that is in your name alone, there is no question but that this is your separate property. However, if the inheritance went into a joint account that you shared with your spouse, it became a marital asset. While you insist that this is your property, your spouse could disagree saying that the money in the joint account should be split during property division.

Further questions

Once completed, give the lists of marital and separate assets you developed to your attorney and keep copies for yourself. Depend on legal guidance if you have questions as to which items are separate property and which are not. There may be assets other than your inheritance from Uncle Ned that are yours alone.