A commonly asked question is how an inheritance is handled during a divorce. Oftentimes, at the time a party received an inheritance, a divorce was not being contemplated, so no consideration is given to the use of the inheritance. Under the laws of the state of Tennessee, property inherited is considered separate property, which means it is not subject to distribution upon divorce. However, there are certain circumstances that can change the nature of the asset and convert it to marital property.
For instance, if you inherit money and you use that money to purchase a jointly titled car, then it can be argued that the money was a gift to the marriage and the car is marital property subject to equitable distribution upon divorce. Another example would be if you inherit money and place in a joint account and commingle it with earned income. In that scenario, it can be argued that the money has been so commingled that it cannot be segregated and it loses its separate identity.
If you inherit assets or money while married, it must be kept in your name if it has a title and not mixed with marital assets if you want it to maintain its separate identity. If you are contemplating a divorce and have inherited assets, it would be to your advantage to consult with an experienced domestic attorney about protecting your inherited property.
If you’d like to schedule a case assessment with Melanie Hogg or another Held Law Firm attorney, call (865) 685-4780.