Real estate holdings

A look at how an inheritance is treated during a divorce

Massachusetts couples may be interested in information regarding the splitting of inheritances during a divorce. The outcome could depend on how the money is treated when received. When a marriage ends, there are often questions about whether certain property is included in the division between the former spouses. One type of property that may be contentious is an inheritance received by one spouse during the marriage. An inheritance received before or after the marriage is generally not considered marital property, so this is usually not divided. Similarly, when an inheritance is received during a marriage by only one spouse, this usually not counted as marital property. When the inheritance is received and the funds are kept separate from other marital property, it is usually safe. This means that the money is deposited in a separate bank account than the rest of the money owned by the former couple. If the inheritor commingles the inheritance with the rest of the couple’s money, though, this could make it part of the former couple’s marital property. This, in turn, would be part of the property division phase of the divorce. This could apply to both inheritances received during the marriage and outside of the marriage. It may be possible to show that the funds were never meant to be mixed, but the bar for proving this in court can be quite high. Understanding the proper way to handle inheritance funds, real estate holdings and other property in a high net-worth divorce can be

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Custody and stock options, Could this happen in Massachusetts?

Ongoing and pernicious divorce negotiations could happen to any couple with significant assets, in Massachusetts or another jurisdiction. Stock options, real estate holdings and other investments can complicate matters. One particular divorce in another state has lasted for more than a decade. There have also been more than 600 court filings. Though not quite a record, the proceedings are certainly on the extreme end of what is at stake. The divorce was originally filed on Aug. 13, 2003, and a divorce was granted nearly two years later. That part is over but other things which both parties feel are worth fighting for are still in court. Things like child visitation, supervised visits, stock options are involved. Moreover, complex financial issues such as who pays for what have been difficult for the parties to sort out. Further complications regarding possible Securities and Exchange Commission violations have also come into play. Legal moves have been made by both parties. Expert opinions regarding the character or psychological makeup of a party, if left unanswered can have damaging consequences. Nevertheless, countering such legal moves, though sometimes difficult, is achievable. It is often important to distinguish between unsupported allegations and actual proof. Most divorces, in Massachusetts or elsewhere, do not take 10 years to resolve — even with complicated child custody or financial issues like stock options or other extensive assets. When one party is fighting with everything they can possibly throw on the table, asserting one’s legal rights to reach a fair and acceptable

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