Going through a divorce can raise numerous questions and concerns about your financial security. One question that frequently comes up is: “How can I protect my inheritance in a divorce?” In Maryland, navigating the issue of inheritance during a divorce involves understanding the difference between marital and non-marital assets.
Distinguishing Between Marital and Non-Marital Assets in Maryland
The first step in protecting your inheritance in a Maryland divorce is understanding what constitutes marital and non-marital assets. Marital assets typically include property or assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse. Non-marital assets, on the other hand, consist of properties or assets that one spouse acquired prior to the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage.
How Inheritances Are Treated in a Maryland Divorce
In Maryland, inheritances are typically considered non-marital assets. This means that if you received an inheritance before or during your marriage, it’s generally considered your separate property. However, this can change if the inheritance is commingled with marital assets. Commingling occurs when a non-marital asset, such as an inheritance, is mixed with marital property, making it difficult to distinguish.
Preventing the Commingling of Inheritance
To protect your inheritance in a divorce, it’s crucial to avoid commingling. You can do this by keeping your inheritance separate from joint accounts and not using it to purchase shared assets like homes or vehicles. Maintaining detailed financial records can also be useful in proving that your inheritance was kept separate throughout the marriage.
Developing a Pre- or Post-nuptial Agreement in Maryland
One of the most effective ways to safeguard your inheritance is through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Such an agreement can provide clear guidelines on how assets, including inheritances, will be divided in the event of a divorce. Remember to consult with a family law attorney to ensure the agreement is legally sound and enforceable.
Seeking Legal Guidance in Glen Burnie, Maryland
Despite the complexity and emotional strain of a divorce, protecting your financial future is crucial. At Jimeno & Gray, P.A., we can guide you through the intricacies of protecting your inheritance in your divorce. Reach out to us today at 410-590-9401 to schedule a consultation.