When couples get married, it is a special time. A time of sharing because now two individuals are a strong, committed loving couple. Marriage brings people together as well as their assets. Most newlyweds do not think about commingling assets and funds as a negative thing because the intent behind getting married is not to think about the union ending. Unfortunately, divorce is a very real possibility. When a couple decides to end their marriage, that is when the battle over assets and property may occur. So, in divorce, the mindset changes from one of sharing everything to not wanting to share anything.
Each state is different when it comes to dealing with property division in divorce. Valuating and dividing assets can be a difficult task for the courts especially when there is a plethora of property and assets involved. Certain states are equitable in their distribution of assets meaning that the person's name on the property can claim that property as theirs. However, the other party legally has the right to make a claim to a portion of that property in a divorce.
Then there are community property states whereby both parties are co-owners of all the property acquired within the marriage regardless of whose name may be on the title. And lastly, some states do not even differentiate between marital and non-marital property and look at everything as joint property.
As mentioned above, specific state statutes will dictate how property in divorce will be handled. Although this is the case, when going through a divorce there are some things that people can do to protect what is truly theirs like an inheritance.
Because an inheritance is typically specifically for one person, arguably in a divorce the person specified should be able to protect what was meant for them and only them. Prenuptial agreements, separate accounts, keeping documentation showing the intent of the inheritance are all ways to combat an inheritance becoming a part of the valuation process.
Knowing and understanding one's rights and responsibilities when it comes to divorce and property division can protect an inheritance in the long run.