Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Could you kindly tell me if you are judicially separated please by virtue of an order of the court or if you have just chosen to live separately but not take any formal steps to formalise your separation including for example divorce?
we are still at the same address we jointly own our house, I do not wish to force a sale, but will need the remainder of my inheritance in order to move.. the bulk of which went to pay off mortgage overdrafts etc..
Thanks for this. If you have recently received your inheritance, an inheritance received during your marriage or during any period of divorce is not automatically treated as a matrimonial asset and therefore is not automatically treated as a assets that can be divided between you on divorce. However this does not mean there are no circumstances when your wife could not potentially claim part of your inheritance...
The courts have the power to include inherited money as an asset that can potentially be divided between you if there are not sufficient assets elsewhere to enable the court to make reasonable financial provision for her. If the marriage is not a short marriage then your wife is entitled to reasonable financial provision and the courts will look to make sure that a settlement provides for this. If this is possible to do from other assets you both own then the inheritance can be ignored but if the court feels it is necessary to bring in the inheritance monies to consideration in order to provide for reasonable financial provision then it can do so.
Of course it is quite possible to agree a settlement between you - it does not have to be litigate upon. If you are able to agree a settlement between you both you could consider formalise such a settlement by way of a consent order as part of any divorce process.
Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX have made over to my wife a considerable amount, to do as she sees fit, but she claims half of the balance, as her right.. I think your answer clears that up. kind regards.
A pleasure. Yes that is not an absolute right. If you can demonstrate reasonable financial provision without the need to look at the inheritance then the inheritance can be avoided as being considered a matrimonial asset for her to claim against. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me