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Can I ring fence inherited money if we split?

(7 Posts)
MrsExpo Mon 03-Apr-17 20:30:13

Another thread has made my wonder about this. I get that if DH and I split up we would split our joint assets 50:50. However, when my DM died 10 years ago she left me a fairly substantial sum of money. We used some of this to buy a new car and some other items, but I used a chunk of it (6 figures!) to pay off our large mortgage. Our house has been enjoyed mortgage free since then which has, of course, benefitted us both over the years in that our disposable income is ours to use as we see fit, other than the usual outgoings, of course.

So, if we parted, could I claim that amount back before any joint assets were divided?

Madbengalmum Mon 03-Apr-17 20:32:16

No i believe that it all goes into one pot to be divided.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 03-Apr-17 20:40:59

It's all marital assets but depending on your circumstances it won't be split 50/50 anyway.

Key factors are length of marriage, ages, ability to support yourselves financially and children. Combining the latter two, whether one of you took time out of your careers/earning potential to care for them.

If no children and/or you haven't been married that long they might go with half the assets each. 10 years of marriage, not relationship, seems generally the cut off point in long/short marriage.

It's meant to be about who needs what to live as close a life as you're used to post divorce as during marriage. So I'd focus on your incomes and what you each need to house yourselves.

Inheritance that's been part of your lives for so long is just one of those things. You're unlikely to take it out of the equation as you benefitted from it together as you were together when you got it.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 03-Apr-17 20:41:52

Pop this in legal for some more advice. There are some fab lawyers who pop in there and share their wisdom. Good luck with it all.

GnomeDePlume Mon 03-Apr-17 21:04:00

As our house is in my name only I was advised that I could leave it in trust to the DCs with DH having a lifetime interest in it. However this was in connection with updating our wills rather than in connection with us separating (we aren't BTW!).

Positiveoptimist Tue 04-Apr-17 06:57:31

I think it'll be put in the pot for a 50/50 split regardless.
A friend of mine had cancer. His insurance company paid off his mortgage, but after treatment he survived. His wife then left him, received 50/50 of everything and he had to remortgage and work nights to keep his house (he was the earner, she was SAHM).

MrsBertBibby Tue 04-Apr-17 07:27:42

Firstly, the court will give greater priority to your respective capital needs, before considering whether available assets can be ring fenced.

If needs are met out of other assets, however, you still have a problem in that because the money was used to clear the debt on the family home, it is highly unlikely a court would ring fence as you suggest. The family home is almost invariably treated as a matrimonial asset, regardless of the source of funds to acquire it.

You need to talk it through properly with a solicitor who has all the facts, but those are the bare bones of the law at present.

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