On January 20, 2016 the Indiana Court of Appeals issued an opinion regarding the application of "coveture fractions" to retirement accounts in divorce actions (a copy of the opinion can be found here: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/01201601pm.pdf). While this specific case is about retirement assets, the Court does note in its opinion that the same analysis may apply to inheritances as well.
Coveture fractions are used in cases to determine the amount of retirement assets that were earned during the marriage. The Court then will divide that amount, instead of the full amount of the retirement account. Late last year a different opinion from the Court of Appeals had many lawyers believing that the use of the coveture fraction may no longer be appropriate in Indiana without some specific findings.
This opinion, though, signals a different direction which may allow the trial court to segregate property from the marital pot. This opinion has some specific requirements about what evidence must be presented, and how the Court should analyze the coveture fraction.
If you are involved in a divorce, and retirement accounts are at issue, you should be absolutely certain the necessary evidence is presented to protect you. Be certain you have a partner that remains current on the law, and is familiar with what the legal standard is.