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Coaching Tip from the RI Divorce Coach - Stock Inherited by One Spouse

Dear Rhode Island Divorce Coach,

I inherited some stock from my brother who died while my husband and I were in the process of our divorce in Rhode Island.  Are these stocks mine or will the court make us split them?  Any help you could give during this difficult divorce issue would be helpful.  Thanks.   Pam

Dear Pam:

Thank you for allowing me to share this fairly common issue with my Rhode Island Divorce Tips readers by changing your name and the name of your spouse and a few other things to protect your anonymity.  I'll give the short answer here but I addressed it in more detail at

The article link is below:

The general rules are noted below but it is best to read the entire article at the link above.  As always, it is advisable that you consult with the licensed and experienced professional who can advise you after a complete review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding your Rhode Island divorce or family law matter.  Articles do not take the place of advice provided by a qualified professional who is informed about your specific case since even one small detail can affect the answer to your legal issue.

General Rule:  Items inherited solely by either party are not part of the marital estate and are the property of the individual who inherited them and are not subject to division by the Rhode Island Family Court.  

General Exception:  If the person who inherited an item commingles (mixes) that item in with marital property that IS subject to division, then the court may find that the inherited item has lost its "inherited character" and has become a marital asset of both parties which is subject to the court's power of division.

Warm Regards,
Christopher A. Pearsall
The Rhode Island Divorce Coach *

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

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