by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Many people are unaware of the significance of keeping an inheritance separate, when a marriage is good and still in tact. Should a parent or relative die during the marriage, most often the inherited monies are placed into a joint account for use of the couple. This is a big mistake if down the road a divorce is in the cards. What happens when the marriage fails? Therein lies the problem.
When things are good, you don’t mind sharing. But when things go bad, if you used your inheritance for marital purpose, and now you are getting divorced, that inheritance becomes a marital asset, not your own separate property, the way it started out.
The legal principle here is called comingling. If you comingled your inheritance, your spouse now has a claim on it in divorce court. If you had kept your inheritance separate, in an account not including your spouse’ name, and not used any of the funds for the marriage, then that inheritance would be untouchable by your spouse in divorce proceedings. Most people just don’t know that and suffer the consequences. For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBiN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.