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What to Know About Dividing Inherited Assets in New Jersey

When a couple gets married, they join their lives together. Obviously, this includes finances. When a couple gets divorced, it can be especially difficult to untangle their finances and other assets. If you are getting divorced in New Jersey, your assets will be divided through the process of equitable distribution. You may be wondering how this works when it comes to certain assets, such as inheritances. Read on to learn more about how inherited assets can be impacted by divorce.

What is Equitable Distribution?

Equitable distribution is the process through which your assets will be divided during your New Jersey divorce. This process ensures that both parties receive their fair share of assets. It is important to note that this does not necessarily mean an equal split down the middle.

When dividing assets, a court will consider some of the following factors:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Property value
  • Yearly income
  • The established financial standard of living in the marriage
  • The terms of any existing child custody agreement

The best way to keep certain assets protected is by creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Reach out to our firm today for more information.

Can Inherited Assets be Subject to Equitable Distribution?

In order to determine what is fair, the court establishes separate property and marital property. Separate property refers to assets that were acquired before the marriage. Marital property is assets that were acquired throughout the duration of the marriage. Inherited assets are considered separate property. Therefore, they not subject to equitable distribution and cannot be given to the other spouse in a divorce. That being said, there is an exception to be aware of. Separate property can become marital property under some circumstances, such as if it is converted. This means if an inherited asset is mixed with a marital asset, it is no longer exempt. For example, if the inheritance is deposited into a joint account with a spouse, it can be subject to equitable distribution. Additionally, inheritance may be used in order to pay spousal support or child support.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the division of assets and how your inheritance may be impacted by your divorce, contact our firm today. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to walk you through the process each step of the way.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.