Can inherited money be taken in divorce?

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Inherited money refers to the financial assets, property, or wealth that an individual receives as a result of the death of a family member or relative, typically through a will or intestacy laws. When a person passes away, their estate, which includes various assets and liabilities, is distributed among their heirs or beneficiaries. Inherited money can come in the form of cash, real estate, investments, business interests, or other valuable possessions.

The inheritance process is often governed by the deceased person’s will, a legal document that outlines their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets. In cases where there is no will (intestacy), the distribution is determined by applicable laws in the jurisdiction.

divorce and financial settlements are governed by family law, with the primary focus being the fair and equitable distribution of assets between the parties involved. When a couple decides to divorce, they often need to address financial matters such as the division of property, assets, and financial responsibilities.

The legal framework for financial settlements in England is guided by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The overarching principle is to achieve a fair outcome, taking into account various factors such as the duration of the marriage, the financial contributions of each party, their future needs, and the welfare of any children.

The court encourages divorcing couples to reach amicable agreements through negotiation or mediation. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the court has the authority to make decisions on financial matters, including the division of assets and spousal maintenance.

Can inherited money be taken in divorce?

In divorce proceedings under English family law, the treatment of inherited money is a nuanced aspect that hinges on various factors. When one spouse has received an inheritance, questions arise about whether this windfall can be included in the matrimonial pot – the pool of assets subject to division in a divorce settlement.

The nature of the inherited assets plays a crucial role. Family law in England generally recognises that inherited money, including inheritance in the form of properties or other financial resources, can be subject to division during divorce proceedings. However, the approach can differ based on specific circumstances and legal considerations.

The concept of “ring-fencing” inherited assets is a principle often considered in divorce settlements. This involves protecting inherited money from being treated as part of the standard matrimonial assets subject to division. In such cases, the court might acknowledge the separate nature of the inheritance and aim to preserve it for the individual who received it.

Pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements also play a significant role in determining the fate of inherited properties and money in divorce. These legal agreements, when properly drafted and executed, can establish the parties’ intentions regarding the treatment of assets, including inheritance, in the event of a divorce.

Seeking legal advice during the creation of such agreements is crucial to ensure they align with family law principles and are more likely to be upheld by the court.

Courts in England, when making financial settlements, take into account the financial needs and future prospects of each party, including any received inheritance or foreseeable future inheritances.

The standard of living maintained during the marriage is considered, and the court aims to achieve a fair outcome, which may involve the division of inherited assets.

It’s important for individuals who have received an inheritance or anticipate one in the future to seek legal advice early on.

This can help in understanding how inherited money may factor into a divorce settlement, whether it can be ring-fenced, and how to navigate the legal complexities of protecting inherited assets in accordance with family law.

In summary, while inherited money is not automatically excluded from the matrimonial pot, strategic legal measures, including pre and post-nuptial agreements, can contribute to safeguarding these assets during divorce proceedings.

How can Expert Family Law assist?

The solicitors on our panel are often asked the question “can inherited money be taken in divorce?”

Our panel of solicitors assist with all aspects of a divorce, including the splitting of assets between parties to a divorce.

The breakdown of a marriage is never easy, and we aim to ensure the process of obtaining ancillary relief is as stress free as possible.

We ensure that the divorce solicitors on our panel have the skills and experience required to assist on your legal case.

We can assure you that your case will be dealt with in a compassionate and understanding manner.

The solicitors on our panel can assist you through the process of divorce, including the application, as well as assisting you with child arrangements, financial settlements and ancillary relief following the termination of your marriage.

Get in touch today using the form at the top of the page to find out if a divorce solicitor from our panel could help on your case.

Please note we are not a firm of solicitors. We maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a case, we may pass your case on to a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm.

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