What to Expect when you are Expecting an Inheritance

In pending divorce cases, lawyers often hear from a client that his or her spouse is expected to “inherit a boatload” from the soon-to-be former in-laws or other relative. This raises lots of questions, namely: is the money subject to division in divorce proceedings and how does it impact the calculation of child support and maintenance, if at all?

Until the money is actually inherited, the answer is simple. There is no impact whatsoever. An expectation of an inheritance is a mere an expectancy that generally carries no weight in a domestic relations court in Illinois. Until the money is actually paid, it is generally too difficult to determine what the actual value of it is. For instance, unbeknownst to the divorcing parties, there may be substantial debt encumbering the decadent’s estate and the expectancy is substantially less than projected.

When someone dies, however, and a spouse actually inherits funds, the inheritance can impact the divorce action depending on the circumstances. Most likely, the non-inheriting party will receive no part of any lump sum of the inheritance as it is considered a non-marital gift to the receiving party.

However, if the inheritor generates income from that gift from a trust, annuity, or in the form of interest for example, that income will often be considered for the purposes of calculating child support and possibly maintenance depending on the regularity of the payments.

If you are receiving an inheritance or have a spouse or ex-spouse expected to receive a large inheritance it may be worth evaluating the impact of the gift on your domestic relations proceeding. In most cases, if anything, if may lead to a modification of child support.In pending divorce cases, lawyers often hear from a client that his or her spouse is expected to “inherit a boatload” from the soon-to-be former in-laws or other relative. This raises lots of questions, namely: is the money subject to division in divorce proceedings and how does it impact the calculation of child support and maintenance, if at all?

Until the money is actually inherited, the answer is simple. There is no impact whatsoever. An expectation of an inheritance is a mere an expectancy that generally carries no weight in a domestic relations court in Illinois. Until the money is actually paid, it is generally too difficult to determine what the actual value of it is. For instance, unbeknownst to the divorcing parties, there may be substantial debt encumbering the decadent’s estate and the expectancy is substantially less than projected.

When someone dies, however, and a spouse actually inherits funds, the inheritance can impact the divorce action depending on the circumstances. Most likely, the non-inheriting party will receive no part of any lump sum of the inheritance as it is considered a non-marital gift to the receiving party.

However, if the inheritor generates income from that gift from a trust, annuity, or in the form of interest for example, that income will often be considered for the purposes of calculating child support and possibly maintenance depending on the regularity of the payments.

If you are receiving an inheritance or have a spouse or ex-spouse expected to receive a large inheritance it may be worth evaluating the impact of the gift on your domestic relations proceeding. In most cases, if anything, if may lead to a modification of child support.

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