Can money inherited before a marriage be divided at divorce if there is no pre-nup?

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Can money inherited before a marriage be divided at divorce if there is no pre-nup?

I inherited some money from my dad 2 years ago. All of it is tied up in mutual funds. I recently became engaged, and I would like to confirm whether or not my inherited money can become divided at the time of divorce. My mom said it can’t, but she lives in L; I live in NV, so I want to be clear. I also opened a Roth IRA with the company that holds the mutual funds I inherited and am funding that with my own income, so I also need to know how separate these need to be in case of divorce. The IRA and mutual funds have slightly different account numbers.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well congratulations.  I think that it may be a good idea to go and see someone in your area regarding either a prenuptial agreement or just some financial planning in general.  The general rule is that assets that are yours prior to marriage - and the money was inherited prior to marriage -  are considered separate property as long as they are not not co-mingled or there is not an intention for them to become marital property.   The Roth IRA will take on a slightly different aura.  Although you opened it prior to your marriage, once you are married your income becomes marital income.  Thus if you continue to fund it with your income after marriage you may run the risk of that portion funded after marriage being deemed marital property.  So you need to make some decisions about it now.  Good luck to you.  


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