Inheritance Alimony mobile alabama

Do I Have to Tell My Ex or the Court If I Receive a Large Inheritance?

When you get divorced, you get a certain amount of freedom from your ex. While you may still have children to co-parent together or share financial responsibility via child support or alimony, a divorce should give you some breathing room. But what happens if you receive a sizable inheritance? Does it have the potential to affect child support or spousal support? It’s important to discuss your concerns with your Mobile, AL divorce lawyer right away to avoid potential issues. Call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-953-1424 to set up a consultation with our team immediately.

Review Your Paperwork

If your divorce is finalized, go through your divorce settlement agreement line by line. If either was anticipating an inheritance at the time of the divorce, it’s possible that the agreement specifies what will happen to spousal support or child support payments should one party receive an inheritance. This is perhaps the best outcome for you, as you don’t have to think about all the potential outcomes of your situation—it’s there in black and white. You should discuss it with your Mobile, AL divorce lawyer to understand what you should expect.

Consider Which End of the Spousal Support Agreement You’re On

It is likely that either party’s inheritance will not be included in the marital settlement agreement, as these things are hard to predict. Much may depend on whether you receive spousal support or pay it. If you currently receive spousal support, you should absolutely disclose that to your attorney and follow their advice.

It is also likely that your inheritance will affect your spousal support payments—in most cases, those payments are meant to tide you over until you become self-sufficient. If your inheritance is large enough to live on, you may lose some or all of your spousal support payments. The court will likely not force your ex-spouse to continue financially supporting you if you are capable of doing so.

If you pay spousal support, there is a chance that your ex-spouse will petition the court to ask them to increase their monthly payments. However, for these efforts to be successful, they’ll need to prove that their needs have changed and an increase is warranted. They cannot simply have payments increased because they would like to access your inheritance.

It’s also possible that child support will be affected by an inheritance. If the party paying child support stops working and lives off of their inheritance or its proceeds, it’s not fair for their child to be left without financial support simply because one parent has an untraditional source of income. The court may then base payments on the funds and assets available to the party paying support.

Current Status of the Inheritance

The court will not consider an inheritance until the party in question has actually passed away and the affected spouse has received their assets. People often try to sway the outcome of a family law case by referring to an inheritance that either party will receive at some point in the future. However, you can’t base current financial decisions on money that may or may not materialize in the future.

What If You’re in the Middle of a Divorce?

Should you receive an inheritance during a divorce, know that inheritances are generally considered separate assets. The odds of the court ordering you to split it with your ex are very low. There is a chance, though, that it will impact how marital assets are split, your alimony obligations, or your child support payments. If spousal support was not on the table before, it’s unlikely that an inheritance will change it.

Spousal support aims to help a lower-earning spouse continue the same lifestyle and standard of living that they enjoyed during the marriage. If you receive your inheritance after you have already started living separately, they never lived off of your inheritance and so never acclimated to the standard of living it could provide. But every situation is unique, and it’s crucial to discuss all potential outcomes with your Mobile, AL lawyer.

Plan for Your Divorce with Kirk Drennan Law

The sooner you contact the team at Kirk Drennan Law, the sooner we can begin working on your divorce case. Set up your consultation with our team of high-asset divorce lawyers by calling us at 205-953-1424 or reaching out to us online.

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