In Alabama, a party's separate estate is not automatically included in the Marital Property of the both spouses. Likewise, a spouse's inheritance and giftshe/she receives, even while married, remains their own property, unless you move to convert the property into marital property. You can covert your property into marital property by several means. Here are a few common examples:
- You could deposit your inheritance or gift into a joint checking account that both parties have access to and regularly make withdrawals.
- Or you could inherit a nice beach house from your grandfather and you regularly take the family to the beach for vacations. The house is now marital property.
The court replies upon one key determining factor when it has to decide these issues. The question invariably becomes, has the property been used "regularly for the common benefit of the parties in a divorce."