Assets inherited during or brought into a marriage can often become a focal point in financial negotiations on divorce – and this can become an emotive and legally technical area.
Our Family team features proven specialists in this area of law, and provides expertise in securing the best outcomes.
What are inherited and pre-marital assets?
They can include assets that have been integral to a couple’s life, such as a house or savings portfolio inherited from a spouse’s parents, or pension assets or capital received as part of a previous divorce settlement. It might also include a business or land run or owned before the current relationship began.
Getting the right advice can be crucial
Discussions can sometimes arise over the extent to which such wealth should be ring-fenced in the context of a divorce, and therefore not shared but retained by the spouse who established or inherited the assets. An ‘absolute’ ring-fence may be appropriate in some cases, while in others the entire class of asset might be regarded as a matrimonial asset like any other.
Much depends on how the asset has been treated during the marriage. For example, did it become a shared asset that both contributed further to and/or benefitted from? There is often a greater prospect of ring-fencing if the asset has not been shared with or enjoyed by the non-inheriting spouse.
Family lawyers experienced in inherited and pre-marital assets
Our family solicitors advice regularly on:
the treatment of inheritance on division of assets in a divorce
the effect that ‘mingling’ inherited wealth with other assets or income during the marriage has on the treatment of that asset
the preservation of pre-marital assets, including pensions
preferred approaches to inherited property held jointly with another family member
the treatment of trusts within divorce
steps that can be taken before a marriage to better protect such wealth – see our page on pre-nuptial agreements.
Securing what’s best for you
Chambers and The Legal 500, the two leading independent legal guides, rank our Family Law team as the best in Devon and Cornwall, and we advise clients across the UK. We’re ready to provide you with valuable guidance in relation to pre-marital assets or inherited wealth, and ensure you achieve the best results.