Can an inherited asset be split in a divorce?

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011

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Can an inherited asset be split in a divorce?

I presently own a 40 acre parcel of hunting land. On the deed are my 2 brothers and I. Can I quitclaim my 1/3 share to my brothers, so my wife cannot take 1/2 of my share? The land was originally purchased prior to my marriage by my father. We inherited it when my father passed away.

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Family Law, Wisconsin


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An inheritance is deemed to be separate property. And separate property is not divided in a divorce. In other words, this property is not a marital assets subject to division. So no matter when you were married, your inherited property will remain yours. Your wife will have no claim on it.

That having been said, such property should be keep apart from any joint property. If separate property is "co-mingled" (i.e. mixed) with marital property it can "transmute" (i.e. change into) a marital asset. If that happens, it then would be capable of being divided between the parties.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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