1. Home
  2. »
  3. Separate Property
  4. »
  5. Do I Have To...

Do I Have To Share My Inheritance In A Divorce?

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Uncategorized, Community Property, Division of Property, Property Division, Separate Property

“I was left an inheritance; do I have to share it in my divorce?”


This is a very common question Family Law attorneys are asked. The answer depends on how you handle the money. Arizona is a community property state. This means that almost all assets, both property and debt, acquired during the marriage are considered to be “community property” and are eligible to be split in the event of a divorce. All assets acquired before marriage are “separate property.” But there are exceptions, and an inheritance is one of them.


Generally, an inheritance is considered to be “Separate Property,” meaning it belongs solely to the person who received it and is not divisible in a divorce. However, if an inheritance becomes commingled (or mixed) with community funds, it can become “transmuted” into “Community Property.” Money can become commingled if part of the inheritance was used during the marriage to financially support the community. For instance, the inheritance will be commingled if the monies are placed in a joint bank account that is used to pay bills, and in which deposits and withdrawals are made from community funds to the point where the separate monies can no longer be traced.  Another example would be if you have an inheritance of $100,000 and you take out $25,000 to use for the down payment of a house that you and your spouse purchase in both of your names during the marriage. In that example, the $25,000 of separate (inheritance) funds could be considered to be a “gift” to the marital community, and it would no longer be characterized as separate property.


Most people don’t plan for a divorce but if you are left an inheritance and you may be approaching a divorce, it is best to keep the money untouched and in a separate bank account or trust in your own name. If you have questions or concerns about your inheritance in the case of a divorce, contact an attorney.


To learn more about the division of property read our blog post “DIVIDING PROPERTY IN A DIVORCE – HOW THE ARIZONA FAMILY COURT DOES IT”

By Maddison Koper


Let's Discuss Your Case - We're Here For You.

When dealing with a family matter issue, you do not have to go at it alone. Schedule your comprehensive attorney consultation now and we can discuss the entire case.

Let's Discuss Your Case - We're Here For You.

When dealing with a family matter issue, you do not have to go at it alone. Give us a call and we can discuss the entire case during a comprehensive attorney consultation.

Client Reviews

Very honest

November 2009 I retained Mr. Frank almost two years to represent me in a visitation modification filed by my ex-husband. Mr. Frank quickly and efficiently became familiar with my case and was very honest about all the potential results that could occur. I truly feel that Mr. Frank had my children’s best interests in mind…

– Judy K