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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13489
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Dear Sirs, Could you clarify a question for me. I am having

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Dear Sirs,
Could you clarify a question for me. I am having a big argument with a male friend of mine who thinks I am totally wrong.
Re: inheritance received within a marriage.
Upon consultation with the internet I have been lead to believe that should a spouse receive inheritance during the time when they are married, that the money in question is their's and their's alone ONLY IF they place all of the money into an account in their SOLE name and do NOT spend it in anyway on purchasing further assets (another house), paying off the mortage, holidays with the wife, purchasing double glazing, buying jewellry etc. etc. in other words using it during the marriage, and that the wife cannot gain access to the money in anyway. So much so that should they divorce the said money would not be included in the financial split - ie. the wife would not be entitled to a penny.
Am I correct. My male friends says she would be entitled to half. Could you clarify before we fall out!
Regards Susi
Thank you for your question.
Neither of you are completely right, I'm afraid, except to the extent that you say that when inherited money is used for matrimonial purposes, the resultant assets form part of the marital assets.
That bit is correct. It is not correct, however, that a spouse would not be entitled to a penny, any more than it is to say that the money would be split equally.
As regards ***** ***** that may have been "ring fenced" by the beneficiary, the situation can be different from case to case and individual circumstances have to be considered.
The key questions are the size of the inheritance, when it was received, how it has been used and the financial needs of the parties and any children at the time of the divorce.
The general rules are as follows:
If inherited assets are transferred to joint names or used for the benefit of the couple/family, they are likely to form part of the ‘pot’ of matrimonial assets available for division by the Court
Inherited assets received shortly before the breakdown of the marriage are less likely to be included in the matrimonial assets for division, depending on whether the other assets are sufficient to meet the couple’s or family’s future needs
The needs of the family, especially where there are minor children, will be the overriding consideration and if the only way to meet those needs is by transferring inherited assets or assets deriving from them, to the other party, the Court may do this.
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