Property division planning may include inherited property

When couples make the decision to divorce, it is never a simple course of action. There are many things to think about, such as the responsibility for child care, spousal support issues and property division. Colorado families may not be aware that, if their children divorce, it can affect any of their own property that they plan to give to their children and is not properly protected. There are several tips on how to manage the tricky issues surrounding this often difficult time of life.

If one wishes to will an inheritance to their married child, it may make sense to put it in trust. It is also a good idea for parents to be open about their financial picture if a child is divorcing, though specifics are not required and approximating is acceptable. Parents do not have to worry that their own personal property and finances will be taken in a child's divorce proceedings, but the property valuations could still be used to determine divisions of the former spouses' assets.

Most of the time, an inheritance that a child receives does not have to be divided with an ex-spouse if that amount is received after divorce proceedings are completed. However, it could potentially mean that the child has to pay a higher amount of alimony and/or child support payments, as it may be considered a substantial change in circumstances. Also, it is advisable to change any beneficiary forms so that former spouses are no longer included, if that is the desire.

Property division can be a difficult issue in a divorce. It is important that all parties keep open lines of communication to ensure that everyone's concerns are heard and that the best possible outcome can be reached. Colorado families may need professional advice and may wish to educate themselves on the laws regarding property division, even if it is their child who is getting divorced.

Source:, Guest Column: Five tips to protect estates during divorces, Suzanne Sayward, March 16, 2014

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