The answer is "it depends." The general rule is that an inheritance is separate property. However, sometimes a court will "invade" separate property and award a portion to the other spouse if necessary to prevent impoverishment of that spouse. Whether this remedy is available is very fact-specific, and if there is a divorce, you should retain an attorney who can explore that legal option with you. The other exception would be if your wife co-mingles the inheritance with marital assets and treats it as if it belongs to both of you and uses it to benefit both of you. You can then argue that it is a marital asset. Again, however, these cases are very fact-specific and you would want to explore your legal options with an experienced family law attorney. I wish you all the best.
This comment is designed for general information only, and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
If your wife co-mingles her inherited funds with the marital funds, many judges will consider all of the money to be marital. However, more information will be needed to give you a better answer. I suggest that you meet with an experienced family law attorney soon to discuss the issue.
You have no inheritance rights, but it MIGHT evolve into marital property if it is co-mingled with the marital assets or needs to be invaded due to special circumstances. Seek counsel with the specifics. there is no firm answer on this issue.
To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline