How will assets I have inherited be treated when I divorce? 

What happens to inherited assets when a married couple divorce? Can they be protected? Will they be shared?

In England and Wales, inherited assets are not automatically counted within the marital pot during a divorce. The court has the discretion to decide whether to make inherited property available for a spouse. Inherited property can be protected from divorce if it is kept separate from marital assets, such as by being held in a separate account or through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Even if they are hoped to be preserved, Inherited assets still form part of the full financial disclosure require when divorcing.

The court's primary concern is to ensure that the needs of both parties are met, and inherited assets may be included in the division if excluding them would leave one party in a significantly weaker financial position. However, if there are enough other assets to provide for both parties' reasonable needs, the inherited property will likely be kept by the person who inherited it.

In England, the treatment of inherited assets in a divorce settlement is determined by various factors. Inherited assets are generally considered separate property and may be protected from division if they are kept separate from marital assets. However, the court has the discretion to include inherited property in the division if excluding it would leave one party in a significantly weaker financial position. Factors that influence the treatment of inherited assets include when the inheritance was received, how it has been used, the value of other assets in the marriage, and whether there are enough assets to meet the needs of both parties.

Inherited assets can be protected through prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, and if they have been stored separately and are not needed to meet the parties' needs on divorce, they are more likely to be ring-fenced from the matrimonial pot. Ultimately, the court's primary concern is to ensure that the needs of both parties are met.

If you would like to know how mediation can help to protect inherited assets with pre or post nuptial agreements, or you are separated and would like to use mediation to review how assets will be divided, send us an email at hello@familymandm.co.uk or book a free call though our website.

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