Many cases that we have involving parties who have been married for any length of time deals with the question of inheritances and whether or not an inheritance would be impacted by a divorce or legal separation. An inheritance is the receipt of some sort of monetary estate by one of the parties from either a family member or a third party. Pretty much the law in Colorado is going to define an inheritance based upon the length of the marriage and what did the parties do with the inheritance. Let me give you an example. Let’s assume that in a 15-year marriage that the husband received an inheritance from his parents who passed away and that inheritance involved a 300-acre property in the state of Colorado, and he kept the 300-acres solely to himself, didn’t share it with the wife in any way, and all he did was pay taxes and insurance on the 300 acres during their 15-year marriage.
There’s a couple of rules that may apply and one of them is whether or not the marriage supported the 300 acres in any way. Did the marriage pay taxes? Did the marriage pay for improvements on the 300 acres? What did the marriage do to contribute to the well being of the property? In that situation, that inheritance would probably be called marital property because there was some co-mingling of marital funds with separate inheritance funds as opposed to inheritance funds that sat in a bank account, accrued interest that nobody ever received during the course of the marriage, and stayed separate.
Contact Shayne Law if you have any questions.