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Is Inheritance Marital Property?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Tennessee

I have a question...I am very recently divorced and now we have to settle the property. We own a home that was purchased in Feb 2004. We moved from California to Tennessee and purchased a home---cash with money that was from my parents home that I sold when they passed away. It was left to me, in my name only. I have papers that show everything was left to me in their will. When the home in TN was bought, I wired money in my name only to the title company. But then stupid me, when it came time to fill out papers for the title, I put my husbands name on it. He was not working at the time, did not work for 6 months after we moved in to the house and did not work for 2 years prior to me selling the house in CA. The judge did order that the property be sold when we were divorced. I was hoping that we could settle things without going to court but apparently it is not going to happen. My ex is saying that he is going to go after 1/2 of the house. I know it was a big mistake to put his name on the title but considering that the money came from my inheritance and I can prove that is he still entitled to 1/2? At first he was saying that when I sold the home he wanted $25,000 and I was willing to do that just so we didn't have to go to court and I could get it over with....but now he says he is entitled to half. Does anyone know anything about this? I greatly appreciate any feedback anyone can give me.




Senior Member
Tenn. Code. Ann. § 36-4-121
Section (b)(1)(A) defines marital property as follows:

“all real and personal property, both tangible and untangible, acquired by either or both spouses during the course of the marriage up to the date of the final divorce
hearing and owned by either or both spouses as of the date of filing of a complaint for divorce, . . . ."

Separate property is defined as
“[a]ll real and personal property owned by a spouse beforemarriage.”
Tenn. Code. Ann. § 36-4-121(b)(2)(A).

Even if you hadn't put his name on the title he would still be entitled to 1/2 of the home as marital property. The reason being, you inherited the money during the marriage making it a marital asset.

Furthermore, even if you had inherited the money BEFORE marriage, you converted it to a marital asset at the time of purchasing the home.

And Furthermore, even if the home had been purchased BEFORE marriage with your own "separate" funds, putting his name on the title entitles him to 1/2.

You lose all around.

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