Divorce and Assets
When financial issues have to be resolved following breakdown of a marriage, do assets which one party has inherited from their family have to be taken into account? The instinctive reaction of many people is that it is not fair to have to share them, but unfortunately it is not that simple.
Inherited assets form part of the total assets and must be included, they cannot be left out of the reckoning altogether. However the way in which they are treated will depend upon the circumstances of the case.
The length of the marriage and the extent to which the inherited wealth has been enjoyed by both parties will be relevant, as will the extent to which the wealth has improved the parties’ standard of living. Broadly speaking the more and the longer the wealth has been enjoyed during the marriage the less likely it is to be treated differently from the parties’ other assets. The Court will take into account such matters as whether the inherited assets have been put into joint names and whether they have been mixed in with the parties other assets or kept separate. There is however no formula and no strict guidelines.
Assets which have already been passed down from generation to generation are more likely to be treated differently as the Court is more likely to be sympathetic to the argument that they should be preserved for the next generation.
However, where the parties are of very limited means, it is more likely that the inherited assets will have to be fully utilised in order to provide for the parties’ needs.
The outcome is very much dependent on individual circumstances and legal advice should be sought.
For Further Information please call (0116) 2999 199.