My spouse received an inheritance 4 years ago and basically used it for 3 things:
1. Purchase a vehicle that has been used by the family for 4 years
2. Upgrade the kitchen in our home
3. Payoff joint credit card debt
Now, we are divorcing and she wants credit for all of those things. In general, is she entitled to full credit for those items? We still have the vehicle and it has obviously depreciated.
Family Law Attorney
Hello. I urge you to seek private attorney counsel in this matter. Generally, an inheritance would be considered nonmarital property. In some instances, nonmarital property may be 'gifted' to the marriage relationship. The answer to the matter of your question about depreciation likely flows from the first issue, the nonmarital property issue. Again, this area of law is quite complex, with many exceptions and caveats, so please seek private attorney counsel so that you ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Although non- marital assets can be "traced" into new assets, arguments may be made whether the new asset was sufficient commingled to diminish or lose the non-marital portion of its value. That is the type of analysis necessary for something like a car. A person cannot "get back". Generally Money spent on debts or to fix the house.
Maury D. Beaulier
Attorney at Law
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2 lawyers agree
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
This is one of those fact-intensive situations that a lawyer would need to closely review to help determine the character (marital vs. non-marital) of the property. A forum like this is not going to be sufficient.
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Family Law Attorney
The short answer is: it depends. While, generally, individual inheritances are non-marital in nature, it is easily possible to transform it into marital property by doing exactly what she did - spend the money on joint assets. As a general proposition, I'd state that she lost non-marital status on the money, but that's an open argument your divorce attorney would have to pursue.
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