Each inheritance case is different and the court will base its decision on the facts and circumstances of that case.
Inheritance often causes contention when it comes to divorce. In Missouri, all marital property is divided equally between the spouses in a divorce. Both parties either have to reclassify the property as separate, in which case they won’t have to split it or they prove that they deserve a larger share of the property. An inheritance is generally one of the largest assets and money that a person can receive, so it is important that any issue concerning it be carefully considered. In this article we will discuss how inheritance is handled in a divorce in Missouri.
Inheritance in Missouri
Inheritance was considered separate property until it was mixed together. This could happen in a case where a cash inheritance is used to buy something for the house. This transformed the value of inheritance from separate to marital. However, this changed in 1998, when a law was passed that said that commingling was not enough. This means, the party needs to show both intent and commingling to convert inheritance into marital property.
Joint titling of property is considered evidence of intent. For example, if one spouse has a large amount of separate property, and he/she buys and sells a house, which is titled together as a married couple, and most of the down payment for the house came from the separate property, the value of that property would be considered commingled, because the house was titled jointly, and the title, in this case, is the evidence of intent.
In fact, if the money is deposited into a joint account, and is used to reinvest in another marital property, this too would be considered the intent of commingling. In this case, the spouse who brought the separate property into the marriage cannot consider this fund separate at the time of divorce. It would be considered marital based on the fact that it was commingled into a joint account, and then used in marital assets.
When it comes to inheritance and divorce, each case is different, and the court determines each based on the specific facts and circumstances. The best way to show your intent to keep the property separate is to keep all the funds separately. If you are the inheriting spouse, you can request the court allows that the contribution should be taken into consideration when splitting the marital property.
Contact a St. Louis Divorce Lawyer
Each divorce case is different and inheritance and property division are two very complicated areas and governed by a complex set of laws. Each case is decided based on the particular facts and circumstances. If you find yourself in a situation where you or your spouse has a considerable inheritance that needs to be worked out, you should seek legal help from a competent and experienced St. Louis divorce attorney.
At The Betz Law Firm, we are committed to guiding our clients through the court process with the same level of professionalism that we would wish for our own family members. We are aware of the trust our clients’ place in us with the future of their family and we strive daily to earn it. Call us today for a free 30-minute phone consultation at (314) 801-8488 or fill out our online contact form.