Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, especially when it comes to dividing assets acquired during the marriage.
However, an additional layer of complexity arises when one or both spouses have inherited assets. In Pennsylvania, specific rules and principles determine the treatment of inherited assets during a divorce to ensure fairness for both parties involved.
In Pennsylvania, inherited assets are generally considered separate property. This means that if you received an inheritance before or during your marriage, those assets are typically not subject to division in a divorce. They are your individual property and not included in the marital estate. This principle applies to various types of inherited assets, including money, real estate, stocks or personal possessions.
Exceptions to the rule
While inherited assets are generally treated as separate property, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you commingled your inherited assets with marital assets, they may become subject to division. For example, if you deposited inheritance funds into a joint bank account with your spouse and used those funds for marital expenses, a court may consider them as marital property.
Additionally, if you inherited assets and then actively contributed to their appreciation during the marriage, the increase in value may be subject to division. For instance, if you inherited a piece of real estate and your spouse made significant contributions to its renovation or maintenance, the increased value of the property may fall under marital property.
While the state sees approximately 30,000 divorces every year, each one has its one uniqueness. For people with inherited assets, the division of assets may come with added complexity.