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Non-marital inheritance commingled

Minneapolis, MN |

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.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. 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.

    Twin Cities & St. Cloud, Minnesota licensed attorney, Tricia Dwyer, Esq.: Phone 612-296-9666, FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE LAW, DIVORCE MEDIATOR, FAMILY LAW MEDIATOR, POST-DIVORCE LAW, Rule 114 Qualified Neutral, Minnesota Supreme Court Roster Mediator, Tricia Dwyer, Esq. & Associates PLLC, Phone: 612.296-9666 - EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR until 8 p.m. daily.


  2. 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
    (612) 240-8005
    Maury@beaulier.com

    CALL 612-240-8005 for a Consultation. Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client relationship absent a retainer agreement with this office. Any response to email inquiries should be considered general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter. Visit online at http://www.minnesotaLawyers.com


  3. 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.

    Disclaimer: This email message in no way creates an attorney client relationship between Majeski Law, LLC and the recipient. Responses are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer regarding any specific legal matter.


  4. 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.

    We can be reached at 507.334.0155 (Toll Free: 888.777.5009). Our web address is: www. corbin-law-office.com. Answers on Avvo are not to be considered a response to a specific legal issue in a specific jurisdiction - they are to be considered only general responses to hypothetical scenarios posed by the questioner. For specific legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. No information contained herein should be construed as a solicitation for business, an offer to perform legal services in any jurisdiction in which the attorneys of Corbin Law Office are not licensed, or the dissemination of legal advice. No creation of an attorney-client relationship should be assumed or implied. We are a debt relief agency. Corbin Law Office helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.

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