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Posted by familylaw on 19th December 2011

One school of thought is that this should be treated as non-matrimonial property, though the longer the marriage lasts the less relevant the distinction between matrimonial and non matrimonial property becomes.

Another school of thought is that inheritance/gifts/contributions should be treated as matrimonial property and be up for equal division.

Inherited wealth may represent a contribution made to the family by one party and will be taken into account as such. The importance to be attached to it will depend upon the particular circumstances of your case, such as:

  • The nature and value of the wealth.
  • The time and circumstances that it was acquired.
  • Whether the children and main carer’s needs can be met without recourse to that wealth.

It would be wrong not to take inherited wealth into account but it may be a reason to argue that equality should be departed from.

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