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When spouses get a divorce, they are always interested in how their marital assets are going to be divided. They are also interested in how Pennsylvania’s state laws come into play. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means a divorcing couple’s assets are divided in a manner that is fair and “equitable,” but that does not necessarily mean equal.

Generally, only marital property is subject to division in a divorce and separate property remains separate. So, what is counted as separate property? Separate property includes assets and property acquired before the marriage, as well as personal injury awards, gifts, and inheritances directed to one spouse alone during the marriage.

Can My Spouse Get My Inheritance?

Let’s say you’re contemplating divorce. You are expecting an inheritance any day and now you’re worried that if you don’t get a divorce before you receive your inheritance, that your spouse will be entitled to half. Is this how it works?

If you receive an inheritance in Pennsylvania while you’re still married and you ensure that those funds are kept separate (in a separate bank account with only your name on it), and you do not comingle them or convert them to marital assets (e.g. put them into a joint bank account and use them to pay marital bills or debts), then they remain separate property; they remain yours alone even if you later divorce.

If you inherit real estate, such as your mother’s home while you’re still married, it will remain separate so long as it’s only passed on to you, and you keep the property separate. If you do not want your spouse to be entitled to any portion of the home, it’s critical that you do not make them joint owners of the property.

Next: Failing to Comply with an Order of Equitable Distribution in Pennsylvania

We hope you found this information useful. If you are looking for cheap, no-fault divorce services, contact Cairns Law Offices for a free consultation.

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