Non-marital inheritance commingled

Asked about 1 year ago - 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. Maury Devereau Beaulier

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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

    CALL 612-240-8005 for a Consultation. Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client... more
  2. Tricia Dwyer

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . 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... more
  3. Matthew Thomas Majeski


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . 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... more
  4. Michael J Corbin

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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. more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Inheritance and Divorce: Divide or Keep?

If you are seeking to retain possession of an inheritance during a divorce, certain rules apply for whether you can keep the entire amount.

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