Inheritance laws regulate who is entitled to receive a deceased persons' estate and belongings. The laws are quite complex and vary according to the situation. Divorce makes inheritance laws even more complicated, and it becomes difficult to establish how inheritance should be divided. Questions arise when one party tries to claim rights to their ex-spouses inheritance acquired while the two were still married.
In some cases, inheritance is not equally distributed among the spouses. It may be treated as separate property. The inheritance loses its immunity if it was being used by both spouses when married. If you wish to keep your inheritance to yourself, it is advisable to keep it in a separate bank account. Another similar situation would be the use of inheritance money to do anything which benefits both you and your spouse. For example using it to renovate your shared living space makes it a joint marital asset that may be divided upon divorce. Co-mingling of the inheritance with marital assets terminates its immunity.
Often, inheritance is acquired by a spouse before marriage. State laws determine how this property will be dealt with after a divorce. Florida inheritance law states that property is separate if owned by a spouse before marriage, or acquired as a gift during the marriage. But even in this case, if co-mingling has occurred, the inheritance becomes marital property and must be shared.
If you have are recently divorced and are having complications due to inheritance disputes, you might want to consider discussing your situation with an experienced attorney. The attorney might be able to solve all differences and divide assets according to the law.