Question: I inherited $100,000 from my grandfather before my spouse and I separated. I was going to pay down the mortgage on our home with some of it but we separated before I made the payment.
My spouse says he should get some of this money as part of the divorce settlement. I do not agree. We never had a marriage agreement or pre-nuptial agreement.
Answer: Under the new BC Family Law Act (March 2013), inheritances do not become family property, and subject to division between the ex-spouses, even if part of an inheritance has been used for a family purposes like paying down the mortgage.
If the inheritance was received during the marriage and grew in value due to investment or the like, the increase in value will be included as part of the family property but the original inheritance amount will be the separate property of the spouse who received it.
For more information about division of family assets, our lawyers in Vancouver and the Tri-Cities area can help. Contact us.