Can inherited land be taken in a divorce?

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Can inherited land be taken in a divorce?

During our marriage, I inherited land from my
grandparents, can my spouse take it in a divorce?

Asked on November 21, 2016 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Virtually all jurisdictionss (community property and equitable distributions states) divide marital property differently but their rules are much the same regarding a spouse's separate property. As a general rule, in a divorce separate assets are not typically divided. Therefore, if for example, you bring an asset into the marriage it's yours as well as if someone leaves you property while you're married. That having been said, if the gift was made to both you and your spouse, the inherited property is marital property. Also, your inherited property is only safe from division with your spouse so long as you preserve its designation as separate property. If not, then "transmutation" can happen. What this means is that the separate staus of your property can change into marital or community property. For example, if you inherit property and put the deed in both yours and your spouse's names, use marital money to pay its taxes or maintenance or your spouse's labor is used to increase the value of the home (i.e. "sweat equity"). At this point, you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area for further advice.


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