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Is an inheritance part of community property in a Texas divorce?

When a couple files for a divorce in Texas, they will be subject to the community property laws of the state. All assets gathered during a marriage will be subject to division in an equal manner. Assets that were brought into the marriage by either partner will remain the property of that person. However, when an inheritance forms part of a couple's assets in a divorce, the handling of the money may determine whether it is separate or community property.

In principle, the law regards an inheritance as the recipient's property unless it was commingled with community property. Upon receipt of an inheritance, it must be deposited into a separate account. Using any part of an inheritance to pay for household expenses, debts or purchases that would normally be marital expenses would turn the inherited funds into community property. However, exceptions may exist, and only the amount used may become marital property.

Similarly, depositing any funds that would generally be regarded community property, such as a salary check, into the inheritance account will have the same effect. The inheritance will become community property forthwith. The bottom line is that an inheritance must be kept separate in order to maintain ownership of it.

Managing an inheritance while at the same time keeping it separate in a community property state can be complicated, and the advice of an experienced Texas divorce attorney may be invaluable. A competent lawyer will be knowledgeable about applicable laws and the way they are interpreted in court. Guidance may also be beneficial for those expecting an inheritance to ensure it is managed appropriately upon receipt. If there is no question about the status of an inheritance, it will not form part of community property.

Source: divorce.lovetoknow.com, "Divorce Law and Inherited Money", Jodee Redmond, Accessed on May 15, 2015

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