The most common extra-marital asset or property that a spouse may receive during the marriage is an inheritance from a spouse’s parent(s). This asset is not treated as income like wages or other earnings earned during the marriage, in part, because the spouse did not receive the inheritance due to the receiving spouse’s efforts during the marriage but simply because of the spouse’s relationship to the gift giver. Other extra-marital gifts would be un-earned gifts earned during the marriage as well.
The way to keep extra-marital property from becoming part of the marital estate is to ensure that it is not commingled with the marital estate and maintained without assets or funds of the marital estate.
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