When a close family member passes away, you may receive an inheritance from them. This sum might go a long way in helping you build financial security. But it could arrive right before or during a divorce. And you will likely worry that you will have to share it with your spouse.

You may panic about losing your money. Yet you can keep these tips in mind to protect your inheritance.

Your inheritance belongs to you

Texas is a community property state, so you and your spouse will equally divide any marital assets during your divorce. Yet, the state also allows an equitable distribution of marital property. This provision alters disbursement based on you and your spouse’s unique circumstances. But inheritance qualifies as separate property. This property includes any assets that you acquired alone before or during your marriage. Thus, unless your inheritance commingles with your spouse’s finances, it avoids division during divorce.

Consider child and spousal support

Inheritance rarely counts toward child or spousal support payments. But if your inheritance is large, you may think you can live off it to evade maintenance altogether. Doing so is illegal. You may still have to pay support based on your full earning capability. And the court can garnish any back support you owe through your inheritance.

No one wants to part with their inheritance, but you may worry your spouse will maneuver a share in your divorce. Yet your inheritance is money designated to you alone. Working with a family law attorney can help you protect it.