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Inheritances and Divorce

Dallas Divorce Attorneys Helping People Protect Their Rights in Dissolution Proceedings

Many people accumulate wealth and assets throughout their lives, with the goal of passing such property along to their family members if they pass away. Inheritances can be substantial, and they often provide people with financial security and means to pursue their goals. It is not surprising, then, that when people who received inheritances are involved in divorce proceedings, one of their foremost questions is whether the courts will divide their inheritance and give a portion to their spouse. If you anticipate that you or your spouse will take legal steps to end your marriage and you are interested in learning more about inheritances and divorce, it is sensible to consult an attorney as soon as possible. The assertive Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group can address your concerns, and, if we represent you, we will gather the evidence needed to aid you in seeking a favorable outcome.

Inheritances and Divorce

In Texas divorce actions, the courts will typically be tasked with resolving numerous disputed issues, including how a couple’s property should be divided. The Texas Family Code (the Code) provides the courts with guidelines for distributing assets. Specifically, the Code states that any marital property should be divided in a manner that the courts deem right and just. Texas is a community property state, which generally means that marital assets will be divided equally, but the courts can divide marital assets in an unequal manner if they find that doing so would be appropriate in consideration of the facts of the case. Separate property, on the other hand, remains the sole asset of the spouse who acquired it.

The Code also defines how the courts must classify certain property. Marital property, which is deemed the property of both spouses, includes assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title or deed. Such property includes income earned, real estate purchased, and debts incurred during the marriage. Conversely, separate property consists of assets acquired by a spouse before marriage, gifts received individually, personal injury awards, and inheritances.

Establishing the Nature of Property in Texas Divorces

While pursuant to the Code, inheritances are considered separate property in Texas, they may be considered marital property under certain circumstances. For instance, parties may enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to clarify that inheritances will be deemed marital property in the event of divorce.

Further, inheritances that are deemed separate property can become community property if they are commingled with marital assets or used for the benefit of the marriage. For example, when inheritance funds are deposited in a joint bank account or used to purchase jointly titled property or to invest in assets benefiting both spouses, such as jointly owned real estate or shared investments, the inheritance can be deemed marital property. Additionally, if inheritance funds are employed to enhance marital assets, such as funding renovations to a jointly-owned residence, the portion of the inheritance contributing to the improvement may be considered marital property.

In any case in which the parties dispute whether all or some of an inheritance should be considered marital or separate property, they will likely need to engage forensic accountants to trace the origin and use of inherited assets and support their positions.

Talk to a Knowledgeable Dallas Divorce Attorney

The division of property and assets, including inheritances, is often one of the most contentious issues in dissolution proceedings. If you have questions about inheritances and divorce, it is smart to talk to an attorney. The knowledgeable Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group are adept at helping people protect their financial health in dissolution proceedings, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. Our main office is located in Dallas. We are also available to meet clients by appointment at our Collin-County office, which is located in Plano. We regularly represent people in divorce lawsuits in Dallas, Garland, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Irving, Richardson, Frisco, and McKinney. We also help parties with family law matters in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our online form to set up a consultation.

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"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
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"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
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"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
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"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan