My wife began receiving an Inheritance during our marriage and was being direct deposited into our joint bank account. My payroll was also direct deposited as well as my spouses paychecks. We purchased a home together using that same account. Her Inheritance was being deposited each month throughout our marriage.
Until divorce, a much better approach is to ask your wife. Normally inheritances are separate property unless "comingled" but that is a determination made at the time of divorce and the equalization of property.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
No one can tell you what a judge will decide based on the totality of circumstance in your particular case. Normally, however, an inheritance is separate property until it is comingled with community funds. Under Family Code 852 A, a written instrument must be used to convert separate property to community property. Tracing money from the joint account to the house payment tends to show the house payments were made with community funds. I suggest you consult with a lawyer for advice on how to argue your case in court.
This comment is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this communication is or is intended to be legal advice.
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