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LegalEagle1, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 789
Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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My husband filed in Jan I am getting an inheritance that was

Customer Question

My husband filed for divorce in Jan
I am getting an inheritance that was left for me
I have not received it yet as it is going through probate court
My husband trying to claim 50%
can he do that in Massachusetts
I dont have money yet and I read it is considered separate property
his lawyer stating its marital asset
His lawyer wont finalize divorce until after I receive money
The whole focus of divorce for him is the inheritance which I dont have yet
he left
he had an affair
We have 4 children that are living with me
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I would like to assist you with your question today.

Many states have treat inherited property as a separate asset. However the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has flatly rejected any rule that gifted and inherited assets should inure to the spouse who brought them into the marriage upon divorce. See Williams v. Massa, 431 Mass. 619, 626 (2000) (noting that Massachusetts "has no hard and fast rules" on the allocation of gifted and inherited assets in divorce proceedings, unlike many other states). Gifted and inherited assets are treated like any other property, in that the Probate and Family Court has "considerable discretion" in determining their distribution. Drapek v. Drapek, 399 Mass. 240, 243 (1987). Yet while the commonwealth does reject any "notion that inherited wealth should remain in blood lines," Bacon v. Bacon, 26 Mass. App. Ct. 117, 123 (1988) (Kaplan, J., concurring), the Probate and Family Court will look very closely at the overall "contributions" of the party who did not receive the gift/inheritance to the marital partnership and/or to the gifted/inherited assets (such as by managing those assets or helping them appreciate in value).

The fact that the you have yet to take possession of the property is a factor that should weigh heavily in having the inheritance pass to you without your spouse receiving them. I suggest you consult directly with your divorce attorney who to best understand how your court may address the situation.

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