05 February 2018, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors
Clients often ask what will happen to their inheritance when they get divorced.
In general, all matrimonial assets are pooled and treated as joint assets. Money or property inherited is not automatically excluded.
Each case is treated differently and depends on its individual facts. The court will take into account the following;
- Worthy inherited assets transferred into joint names or used for the benefit of the couple e.g. improvements to the family home.
In this case they will be treated as marital assets.
- When was the inheritance received?
If it was shortly before the breakdown of the marriage it is less likely to be included in the marital assets.
- How was it treated during the marriage? did the beneficiary ring fence the inheritance and treat it as their separate property.
- How large was the inheritance in the context of the total marital assets?
- The needs of the family, in particular the children. If the matrimonial assets are insufficient to meet these needs, then the court will take into account inherited property to satisfy them.
In the case of Alireza v Radwan the wife was entitled to a prospective inheritance from her wealthy Saudi Arabian father because of forced heirship i.e. she would receive a share of his estate upon his death. This was regarded by the court as a financial resource.
In most cases, future inheritances are not taken into account because if uncertainty. However, if one of the parties is likely to inherit in the immediate future e.g. on the death of a terminally ill relative, the court may adjourn the financial application until the inheritance has been received.
If you would like to find out more information about the issues raised above, please contact Susan Taylor. 0161 883 0460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org