Divorce can be a challenging time in the lives of Tennessee residents. There is much that can weigh heavily on the minds of the soon to be divorced, including such weighty issues as child custody, child support, alimony and property division. Property division, for those with many assets, can be a particularly stressful situation. Without a prenuptial agreement in place, there are a number of ways that property division can play out. Obviously, there can be numerous complexities involved.

One such complexity involves inheritance. Some of those who are going into a high asset divorce may be wondering whether inherited assets will be included in the property division. For example, if a loved one dies during the marriage and one of the spouses receives an inheritance, this will be considered an inheritance that is acquired during the marriage. What is done upon receiving this inheritance can determine how and whether or not it will be divided during divorce.

Tennessee is considered an equitable distribution state, meaning the property division laws require that all marital assets are divided equitably — or, in other words, fairly. In general, equitable distribution laws do not affect inheritance, because inheritances are not considered marital property if they are not commingled with marital property. Inheritances, when not deposited in an account with marital property or otherwise commingled with marital property, are treated as separate property — i.e., only belonging to the party who received the inheritance.

High asset divorce can quickly become a messy affair — but it does not have to be that way. There are many ways in which a person undergoing divorce can fight for their best interests. Avoiding a messy divorce is often high on the priority list of many Tennessee residents. Attorneys are available to help soon to be divorced couples prepare strong divorce strategies.

Source: FindLaw, “Inheritance and Divorce,” accessed on May 9, 2017