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Inheritance and Divorce – Georgia Divorce Laws

by | Oct 15, 2023 | Divorce

Picture the following scenario. Emily’s mother recently passed away. As part of her will, she left her estate to her daughter, Emily and her granddaughter. Shortly after the mother’s passing and her bequeathing of this inheritance to her daughter and granddaughter, Emily’s marital issues escalated, eventually leading to the initiation of divorce proceedings with her husband.

Now, Emily is dealing with a very complicated set of emotions. Her mother has passed, she has received a windfall from her estate that can go towards her daughter’s college and more. But, now she’s contending with a spiraling marriage and the possibility her soon-to-be ex-husband will receive some of this inheritance. Now that’s a lot to deal with. 

This is not a tall-tale. This kind of situation happens to many people every year. And, without the proper legal guidance from a family law professional, the outcome for someone like Emily could be less than ideal.

Is inheritance separate property in Georgia?

In Georgia, inheritance is typically categorized as separate (non-marital) property, regardless of whether it was acquired prior to or during a marriage. Similarly, Georgia law recognizes other types of property as separate, including gifts, property owned before marriage, and specific legal settlements. Consequently, when one spouse receives an inheritance while married, the law generally presumes that the funds remain the exclusive property of the recipient unless specific actions are taken to convert them into marital assets.

Can your ex claim your inheritance during divorce?

Don’t Co-mingle Your Inheritance

In cases where a spouse blends their inheritance with jointly held marital property to the extent that tracing the origin of the inheritance becomes challenging, the Court may rule that it no longer maintains its unique status as separate property and is now deemed marital property. For instance, if a spouse inherits money and subsequently deposits it into a shared investment account, the Court might classify the inheritance as marital property subject to division after the divorce.

Is an inherited house considered separate property?

What happens if one spouse inherits a house? If one spouse inherits a home, and later, both partners utilize shared funds to enhance the property or treat it as an investment, a court could conclude that a part of the house remains separate while another segment qualifies as marital property. The final judgment hinges on the intentions and actions of the individuals involved concerning the property.

Give our team a call

Our Family Law Attorneys can assist you in Atlanta, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Forsyth, Savannah, and Columbus. We have experience in all domains of family law including inheritance claims and international family law issues