My spouse inherited $800K. She put $300K towards our mortgage and $500K in her personal checking account — after 35 years of marriage

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Expensive Quentin,

I’ve been married 35 years.

My spouse goes to inherit $800,000 and instructed me she is going to use $300,000 to repay our mortgage. The home is value $450,000. However she is going to put the remaining $500,000 into her personal private checking account.

I’m 65 and nonetheless work. I earn $130,000 a 12 months and plan to proceed to work for one more 5 years, so long as I’m in good well being.

My spouse retired two years in the past at age 59 after working for 13 years, incomes $20,000 a 12 months. She largely stayed residence and helped increase our two kids, who are actually adults with their very own jobs.

My spouse will get a small pension and I will even get a pension. We’ve no financial savings, no 401(ok), nothing. I paid for my children’ school schooling. We personal one automotive outright. I’ve credit-card debt of almost $80,000. My spouse has credit-card debt of $2,800.

What do you consider the way in which she has handled her inheritance? If we divorce, will I’ve to pay her alimony?

Been Working Since I Was 16

You’ll be able to e-mail The Moneyist with any monetary and moral questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com.

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Expensive Working,

Don’t permit your frustration over this inheritance OR the truth that you’ve been working since 16 to drive you into doing one thing rash. Your spouse has used greater than one-third of this cash to repay your joint mortgage. Inheritances are usually not thought-about group property, so she is clearly taking her time deciding what to do with it. Whereas that will really feel like a slap within the face after 35 years of marriage, she is legally entitled to try this, and personally entitled to take action too.

You don’t say why you’ve $80,000 in credit-card debt and your spouse solely has $2,800. Assuming it’s notdue to your kids’s school bills, this disparity can also reveal that you’ve got totally different spending habits and skills to handle your cash. That’s some huge cash to have in your bank card, and if you happen to racked up that cash on miscellaneous bills, I can perceive why your spouse didn’t consider it was her duty to repay your private debt.


Think about if the tables have been turned and you place $300,000 of your inheritance towards this home, after which your spouse rotated and stated, ‘Thanks for paying off a piece of our mortgage, however I really feel like it is a good time for a divorce.’

Given the disparity in your incomes, I can perceive why you are feeling the way in which you do. However that doesn’t bear in mind being a stay-at-home mom, which is a full-time job in itself. That, plus her $20,000-a-year job, suggests to me that she greater than contributed her fair proportion of time and labor to the wedding.

Plus, despite the fact that she was paid lower than you, let’s assume that she labored as arduous as anybody for these 13 years. Backside line: You each labored.

Your query concerning alimony seemingly depends upon the place you reside, your particular person circumstances, the choose, and the scale of the inheritance. Previous cases have proven that the earnings generated from an inheritance could be a consider figuring out alimony, despite the fact that inheritance is mostly thought-about separate property. You have been the foremost breadwinner, and primarily based on earlier circumstances on inheritance, it’s unlikely to be a significant factor in alimony.

Consider it this manner: She has simply contributed $300,000 to your life collectively when she might have stored all of that cash, and divorced you. Simply think about if the tables have been turned and you place $300,000 of your inheritance towards this home, after which your spouse rotated and stated, “Thanks for paying off a piece of our mortgage, however I really feel like it is a good time for a divorce.”

In the event you really feel upset now, you’d be completely livid then.

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