MG Legal, Leading Divorce Solicitors. The team that put you first. Contact us to speak to a solicitor today: 01524 581306 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fixed-fee Divorce Solicitors
At MG Legal, our leading divorce solicitors in Preston understand how difficult and distressing it can be when you are facing a disruption to your family life.
Whether you are contemplating divorce, having child contact issues, or you are in a financial dispute with your partner, MG Legal’s expert divorce solicitors can guide you through the process, and provide advice on where you stand legally – helping you to bring the certainty back into your life sooner than you think.
Divorce and separation needn't be stressful.
Knowing that everyone is different, MG Legal's divorce solicitors offer a bespoke service to each and every one of our clients, and our advice will be clear, to the point, and unique to your situation.
Our experienced team of divorce solicitors, headed by our specialist family and divorce solicitor, Wendy Wharton, will deal with your problems in a stress-free environment, and will speak with you in non-legal jargon that you will understand.
From the initial meeting, throughout, Wendy will listen, understand, and give the best, local advice, that only a family lawyer of her standing is able to deliver.
MG Legal Divorce Solicitors:
Well, there is nothing our expert divorce solicitors haven't seen or done in the Family Courts. We know that the advice given could affect the rest of your life: so we sit and listen, advise as to the options and then do more than any other legal team to endeavour to get you what you want. Our success rates are second to none - read our reviews.
When you have the right legal team behind you, getting divorce needn't take an age, or be a particularly costly experience. When MG Legal's divorce solicitors near you, accept your instruction, the divorce process will be put in motion the same day, and we will keep you updated throughout the process.
What are the Stages of the Divorce Process?
Many instruct a divorce solicitors to act on their behalf when getting divorced, to take away the pressure, and to, in essence, use our local divorce solicitors, as a kind of buffer- basically your divorce solicitors, at whichever office is local to you, will liaise with your spouse's legal representative, or indeed, them, leaving you to get on with your life, whilst our divorce solicitors finalise your divorce. Unfortunately the terminology and process used by some divorce solicitors can add to the confusion and stress of a divorce; therefore as your local divorce solicitors near you, we have created a short guide to the process and terminology of the divorce procedure.
The Initial Appointment
This initial appointment can be scary, but you needn’t worry; our super friendly divorce solicitors will instantly make you feel at ease. This appointment is essentially to gather all the information from you, such as the date, length and place of marriage, whether there are any children of the marriage, properties and businesses. We will need to ask some more personal questions, such as why you or your spouse have chosen to end the marriage. We are not here to judge and it is important that you tell us everything.
As divorce solicitors we understand that this can be nerve-wracking, and should you need the extra support please feel free to attend with a friend or family member. Please note however that we can only take isnstructions from you as our client. We would ask that if you are the Petitioner (i.e you are the one applying for the divorce) that you bring your original marriage certificate with you (or official copy from the Registry) in order that our experienced Divorce Assistant, Lucinda, can begin to draft the Divorce Petition with you at the earliest oppportunity.
During this appointment you will be advised as to the best reason on which to base your aplication for divorce of divorce. The following facts are accepted by the Family Court as reasons for divorce:
Drafting of the Application and Second Appointment
Once the reason for divorce has been established and a marriage certificate provided, (if you are not in possession of the original then we can request an official copy on your behalf for the fee of £14.00) then our Divorce Assistant will proceed with drafting the Petition. Once done you will be invited in to to peruse and approve the Petition. We can also deal with this appointment by telephone.
In accordance with protocol, a copy of the Petition will be sent to your spouse, or their own representatives for them to consider before it is sent to the Court so that any initial issues can be resolved and there is no delay during the proceedings. Once any issues are resolved, or if we do not hear from your spouse or their representatives within 14 days, the petition will be sent to the Regional Divorce Unit. The Court fee is currently £593.00, which is required upfront, but depending on your financial situation you may be eligible for a reduction or an exemption from the Court fee - see the Help with Fees form for guidance.
Acknowledgement of Service
Once the Petition is issued a sealed copy of the Petition, a Notice of Proceedings and an Acknowledgement of Service form will be sent to your spouse. Your spouse is required to sign and return the Acknowledgement to the Court within 7 days of receipt. Should they ignore the papers and fail to return the Acknowledgement, then we would advise you to instruct a local process server to personally serve.
If the Acknowledgement is returned, the Court will send a copy to us and we can then progress to the next stage.
Decree Nisi – The First Decree
Once we have the Acknowledgement we will then contact you with an application for Decree Nisi, which is the first decree of divorce, and a Statement in Support of Petition. Your representative will explain the steps to you or invite you in to go over the forms. If your spouse has signed the Acknowledgement in person a copy of the Acknowledgement will be exhibited to the Statement in Support and you will need to confirm on the Statement in Supoprt that you recognise the signature of your spouse.
Once these papers have been sent to the Divorce Unit, they will be passed to a Judge for consideration. If the Judge is satisfied that you are entitled to a divorce based on the information contained within the Petition, a Certificate of Entitlement will be issued. This will set out the date and time that the Court will pronounce decree nisi and make any orders in relation to costs. If there is something the Court is not happy with, or requires further explanation on, then a Notice of Refusal will be issued - this does not happen often.
Neither you nor your spouse will need to attend the Court on the date that Decree Nisi is pronounced, unless your spouse is opposing an application for a costs order, however they will need to inform ourselves and the Court of their intentions at least 14 days prior to the date of Decree Nisi. You can find more on this here. https://www.gov.uk/divorce/apply-for-decree-nisi
Decree Absolute – The Final Decree
After the Decree Nisi has been pronounced you are legally required to wait 6 weeks and 1 day before you are able to apply for the final decree, the Decree Absolute. This is the document that will legally end your marriage. However if the division of matrimonial assets still needs to be resolved, and there are assets that would be affected by legally ending the marriage, it is likely that we would advise you to delay applying for your final decree until terms of settlement have been agreed.
The Decree Absolute normally comes through within 2 weeks of the application for being submitted. Once we are in receipt of this we will send the original decree to you for your safe keeping. The Court will also forward a Decree Absolute to your spouse for their records.
If financial matters have delayed the application for Decree Absolute and it has been over 12 months since the date that Decree Nisi was pronounced, you will need to send a short statement with your application to confirm, amongst other things, the reason for the delay and that there has been no reconciliation since Decree Nisi.
Should you have any questions in relation to the divorce procedure then please feel free to book a fixed fee half hour consultation with our divorce solicitors, (£75.00 plus VAT) on 01524 581306. Alternatively enquiries can be made on our website or by emailing email@example.com.
Divorce rates 2020:
In recent days, the Office of National Statistics has released insightful statistics regarding divorce numbers and rates, by duration of marriage. This report, entitled ‘Divorces in England and Wales: 2020’, allowed our divorce solicitors to closely analyse the trends of divorce across the nations. Read on to learn more.
Across the media, since the first lockdown in 2020, the narrative of increased couple disputes and separations has been rife. Our specialist divorce solicitors have also seen a dramatic increase in client numbers in recent years, which we also attributed to this apparent trend of couple separations and divorces sky-rocketing during the pandemic.
However, our divorce solicitors were surprised to learn, in Office of National Statistics data, that in 2020, there were 103,592 divorces granted in England and Wales. This was actually a decrease of 4.5% in divorce rates compared with 2019. of these, the majority were among opposite-sex couples (98.9%).
One figure that did interest our divorce solicitors, was that in 2020, the average (median) duration of marriage at the time of divorce was 11.9 years for opposite-sex couples, a decrease from 12.4 years in 2019. This suggests that while the overall rate of divorce decreased in the year, those couples who were getting a divorce had been married for a shorter average number of years before ultimately deciding to file for divorce. Our specialist divorce solicitors know that many couples and spouses have been forced to separate earlier than they previously would have, due to the pressures of repeated lockdowns making many couples feel suffocated and unable to find space from one another.
If you are looking to begin divorce proceedings with your spouse, and need to find a reliable, specialist divorce solicitor to guide you through the process, then look no further than MG Legal’s divorce solicitors. To speak to a divorce solicitor today about how we can help you, simply contact us online here and speak to a divorce solicitor within one working hour.
Getting divorced when the property is in my ex’s sole name:
If you are getting divorced and the family home is in your ex’s name, and was bought by your partner before you met or before you got married, you might be left wondering what rights you have regarding the property, and if you will have to simply move out and leave the house with your ex-partner. This is a common situation that our specialist divorce solicitors come across on a daily basis-when a couple have been married and living together, and when it comes to divorce, the person who’s name the house is in demands the other person to move out, claiming that they have no rights to stay in the house. However, this is often NOT the case.
If you are married then you have a right to live in your home, even if it is only owned in your husband or wife’s name. This comes under ‘matrimonial home rights’. Under these rights, married partners have the right to live in the family home, and the right to not be made leave the family home (unless there is an ‘occupation order’ that the court has made requiring you to leave).
You should not assume that you will immediately have to move out of the home simply because the house is not in your name and your name is not on the mortgage. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the asset will be divided equally, but you should register your home rights with the Land Registry as soon as possible to ensure that your home can’t be sold, mortgaged or transferred without you finding out.
Even if you did not buy the house, our divorce solicitors often work with clients who have spent a lot of money on the house over the years, contributing to the mortgage while living there, making home improvements to the house, and paying for the house to be decorated. If you are thinking of getting divorced, and need advice about what happens to the matrimonial home in the divorce, and what you are entitled to, then get in touch with our divorce solicitors online here to speak to a solicitor within one working hour,
Do we have to go to court to decide who gets the house in the divorce?
This is a common misconception that our divorce solicitors hear from our valued clients, is that they will need to go to court in order to sort out their property arrangements, and to decide what will happen to the marital home. This is not the case. You can easily agree between one another, with the help of our divorce solicitors, as to what happens to your marital home when you get divorced.
Options when handling the marital home in a divorce, include:
Agreeing to selling the property and dividing the asset
The value of the property is transferred to one of you while the other gets alternative assets of the same value
One of you remains in the property and buys the other’s share
You defer the sale, and one of you retains an interest in the property and gets a share of the proceeds when your home is eventually sold.
If you are looking to reach a divorce financial settlement, and decide what to do with the family home in your divorce, then do not hesitate to seek legal advice from our specialist divorce solicitors today. Our team have over 20 years’ experience in reaching the best financial settlements for our clients out of court, and guiding them through the family courts process every step of the way where amicable settlement is not an option.
Upcoming 'no-fault' divorces:
After a number of delays, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act is looking to be implemented on the 6th April 2022. The long-awaited legislation was supposed to be implemented in the Autumn of 2021, but was pushed back until 6th April 2022. This was said to be to allow necessary IT updates and changes to first be made to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service's online divorce services.
This was disappointing news to many, including our expert divorce solicitors at MG Legal, and to many couples who hoped to enact an amicable divorce without providing evidence of their marriage breakdown, rather than using one of the 5 grounds that are, presently, deemed acceptable. However, our local divorce solicitors are happy to announce that the Act will be in place in only 3 months time.
Essentially, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act means that from April of 2022 onwards, a couple will be able to submit a joint application for a divorce, using the sole reasoning that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. When submitting the no-fault divorce in this way, the couple will not have to prove this fact to be true in any way, but will simply have to sign an accompanying statement to confirm that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
What will the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act do?
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, which is set to be the biggest change to divorce law in over 50 years, will make it much easier for couples to enact a divorce on amicable grounds. They will no longer have to meet one of the five accepted factors as evidence of the divorce breakdown.
The new act will take away the legal requirement for any of these requirements to be met to file for divorce, making it much easier for couples to agree to a divorce without it being essentially one person’s ‘fault’. When it does come into place, the act will also mean other changes for how the system of divorce works.
It will take away the possibility for the irretrievable breakdown claim to be challenged, which will save a lot of money in the long run that would be spent on long and weary contest proceedings.
Family courts delays due to COVID-19:
Another important part of the report was regarding the delays to the family courts that have been ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic. Our divorce solicitors go above and beyond to ensure that our clients’ divorce process goes as smoothly as possible, but even we have been subject to the unavoidable delays of the family courts in the last couple of years.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has previously reported that family court activities were affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during 2020, including the temporary suspension of operations by some courts for a period of time; according to the ONS, this may have impacted the number and timeliness of completed divorces in 2020, but it is difficult to know the extent of the impact.
Man jailed for defying family courts in his divorce:
In February 2022, a divorced man has been jailed for 12 months after defying his court order relating to his divorce. The man left the country in a bid to avoid paying the £2 million owed to his ex-wife Marie-Therese Hohenberg Bailey, who is a descendent of the Austrian royal family. After leaving the country and failing to attend court, the judge found that the husband deserved a custodial sentence.
The couple have been separated since 2016, and have been going through difficult divorce proceedings since then, with Her Honour Judge Gibbons hearing contested financial remedy proceedings over 14 days in 2020.
When the judgement was handed down in mid 2021, there were numerous findings that were made against the man. These included non-disclosure, fraud, a lack of credibility and dishonesty. Our divorce solicitors rarely come across proceedings that have so many findings against a spouse. He had falsified bank statements, covid tests, and even lied about where he was remotely tuning into the divorce proceedings from.
As part of the proceedings, he was ordered to pay his wife around £2 million, but over £1 million is still to be paid, and the courts heard that his ex-wife and children are now living in rented accommodation.
On his actions, the judge said: ‘He expresses no remorse; on the contrary, his written statements continue to present himself as the aggrieved party in this,’ added the judge. ‘He has disputed evidence which I have found to be true. He has refused to attend court, including at this hearing, when ordered to do so, and ignored other court orders, for example to supply medical evidence. He has, so it appears, continued to enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle in sharp contrast with W.’
Our divorce solicitors were saddened to hear of this case, but while the scale of the assets involved are far from standard, situations like this where one party fails to cooperate, and leaves the other party and children living in limbo and struggling to get by, are far from rare. If you are in a difficult situation, and are looking for a reliable and dedicated divorce solicitor to fight your corner and get you the outcome that you and your children deserve, then MG Legal are here for you.
Our specialist divorce solicitors have over 20 years’ experience, and are here to help you to get your life back on track. To speak to a divorce solicitor about how we can help you, learn more about our services, and discuss our clear, fixed-fee, simply contact us online here and hear from a divorce solicitor within one working hour. Or, to see a collection of our fixed-fee services, see this here.
Do I have to move out of the house during the divorce?
The short answer to this question is no. If you are a joint legal owner of the matrimonial home, you have the right of entry and occupation until a financial order is made by the court. Neither party can insist that the other move out of the property.
And, even if your home is owned by just one spouse, the other person still has a right to remain and live in the house if they are married or in a civil partnership, under their ‘home rights’.
MG Legal, Leading Divorce Solicitors. The team that put you first. Contact us to speak to a solicitor today: 01524 581306 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act being implemented?
Essentially, the Act is hoping to bring a reduction in animosity between couples who are going through a divorce. It is taking away the need for one to blame another for the failed marriage, and is also preventing couples to contest the decisions of irretrievable breakdown in the divorce proceedings. With over 30 years of experience in family law, and having worked on hundreds of divorces, we have seen our fair share of explosive and painful divorces. Our divorce solicitors welcome the changes, and hope that they will bring around a substantial reduction in divorce-related disputes.
How to file for a no-fault divorce?
If you are looking to get divorced in 2022, but are hoping to do so in a no-fault way, and are waiting to use the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, our specialist divorce solicitors would advise you to reach out to an expert solicitor as soon as possible. As previously mentioned, the no-fault divorce process is looking to take around 6 months to complete, and there are a number of steps which can be taken in order to best prepare for your no-fault divorce application when the Act comes into force in April.
With the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act being implemented in the upcoming months, our divorce solicitors here at MG Legal are well versed on all family law updates, and will ensure that your divorce process goes as smoothly and amicably as possible, especially if you do not wish to speak badly of your spouse.
How long will it take to make a no-fault divorce under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act?
When couples make a divorce application under the new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act, there will be a subsequent ‘cooling-off’ period, for a minimum of twenty weeks from the start of divorce proceedings, in order to give the couple time to reflect on their decision and ensure that they still wish to go through with the divorce proceedings. When this ‘cooling off’ period has passed, the applicant(s) will need to once again give confirmation to the court that they still wish to proceed with the divorce, and they will then apply for a ‘conditional order’.
When this application has been made, it can be finalised in a further six weeks, and the final order can be obtained which can legally bring an end to the marriage. When the entire process is considered, and the necessary wait times, a no-fault divorce can be achieved in around a six -month time period.
How can MG Legal help with my no-fault divorce?
If you are getting, or thinking of getting, a divorce at some point in the near future, then our expert team of divorce solicitors are here to help with every step of the way.
While the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act is no longer being implemented in the upcoming months, we are well versed on all family law updates, and Will ensure that your divorce process goes as smoothly and amicably as possible, especially if you do not wish to speak badly of your spouse. See our page dedicated to this, here.
‘Divorce day’ postponed until April in anticipation of no-fault divorces:
Ask any divorce solicitor and they will tell you that ‘Divorce Day’ is the first working Monday of the New Year. A day when family lawyers and divorce solicitors alike, aresupposed to see an increase in enquiries, after the stresses of a family Christmas and a resolve to makes changes due to the start of a new year. With many couples looking to get divorced in the new year, it is no surprise that many are putting the application process off for a further few months in order to make use of the no-fault divorce introduction, when the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, comes into play.
One of the worst things about filing for divorce, previously, was the need to point the finger of blame at your ex-spouse. Often this could be rather awkward, even when the marriage has been on the rocks for years. Under the no-fault divorce application process, couples will be able to navigate through the divorce process without either party having to accept fault for the divorce.
If you and your partner are looking to make a divorce application, but would rather wait until the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act comes into force in April 2022, then do not hesitate to get in touch with our specialist divorce solicitors to learn how you can best prepare for the application process. With there set to be such a surge of divorce applications after this date, working with our divorce solicitors to get everything in order for the application process is the best way to get ahead of the game.
When you work with our divorce solicitors, your designated solicitor will keep in touch with you on a regular basis, and can ensure that you are completely prepared to submit your divorce application as a couple when the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act comes into force. Simply contact us online here to speak to a divorce solicitor within one working hour.
Does my spouse have to agree to the divorce?
As mentioned in the section relating to the facts of divorce, the respondent must admit to adultery in order for a petition to proceed on this basis, and if the petition is to be issued on the basis of two years' separation with consent, the respondent must agree that there has been separation of over two years and that they are happy for divorce proceedings to be commenced.
However, if a petitioner wishes to issue on behaviour or on five years’ separation, the consent of the respondent is not required. In relation to behaviour, the respondent can complete the Acknowledgement form to indicate that they do not accept what the petitioner is saying about them but that they agree that the divorce should go ahead.
In some cases however, the respondent does not agree that the marriage is at an end, or there is strong argument that he or she will suffer significant hardship should the marriage be legally ended and therefore wishes for it to continue. In these cases the respondent has the option to defend however it should be noted that these cases are becoming rarer.
If the respondent wishes to defend, then the first thing that a respondent will need to do is answer ‘yes’ on the Acknowledgement of Service form at the question “Do you intend to defend?”. The Acknowledgement form should be completed, signed and returned to the Court within 7 days of the respondent being served with the divorce petition.
Within 21 days after that, the respondent should file at Court what is known as an ‘Answer’ in Form D8B setting out the reasons why it is believed the marriage has not irretrievably broken down or, if the petition is based on 5 years’ separation, why the respondent believes that he/she will suffer grave financial or other hardship should the marriage end. There is a Court fee of £245 payable upon sending in the Answer.
The Court is likely to then list the matter for a short directions hearing when the Judge will hear briefly from both parties and determine whether any further evidence is required before the Court can reach a final decision, for example full statements from both parties. The case will then be listed for a contested final hearing where the petitioner and respondent will give evidence from the witness box and will be cross-examined by the other party’s representative. The Judge will then determine whether the marriage should be dissolved. However, if one party strongly believes that the marriage has broken down irretrievably there is very little chance that the Court will not allow the marriage to be dissolved and if the respondent fails to stop the petition going through, he/she will have to pay the costs of the petitioner in addition to their own.
Another option open to the respondent is to cross-petition if they feel that they have just as much reason to divorce the petitioner. The respondent will issue their own petition, citing the reasons and will still have to provide the marriage certificate and pay the fee for issuing a petition.
Again, the Court will list the matter for a directions hearing, obtain further evidence and then list the matter for a contested hearing before deciding on whose petition the divorce should proceed,
Once the Court has made a decision, the divorce proceedings will continue in the normal way.
So, there is a difference between the respondent not being happy about what is being said about them in the petition, but accepting the marriage is over, and the respondent believing that the marriage has not irretrievably broken down. If a respondent is simply not happy with what the petitioner has accused them of in the petition, then he/she should think very carefully before defending the divorce or cross-petitioning as the delay and costs involved may not be worth the time and effort, when it may just be a matter of pride at the end of the day as the other party ‘got there first’.
Do I have to name the person my spouse committed adultery with?
The short answer is no, you do not have name the person that your spouse has committed adultery with on your divorce petition, in fact doing so is quite rare, and could potentially lead to delays with your divorce, as the other party may not be willing to admit to an affair with your spouse and they will have every right to seek their own legal representation. Divorce proceedings based on adultery can proceed without naming the co-respondent, instead they will be referred to as “unnamed man/unnamed woman” on the Court paperwork.
If a petitioner does wish to name the co-respondent then it is advisable for the co-respondent to be sent a Form of Admission at the same time as the respondent – provided his/her address is known. This will then give an idea as to whether they will engage in the process. If the co-respondent does not return the form or makes it clear they will not co-operate, but the respondent is willing to admit to adultery if the co-respondent is not named, then it is worth agreeing not to name the co-respondent.
If the co-respondent is named then once the divorce petition has been issued the Court will send a sealed copy to the co-respondent together with an Acknowledgement of Service form. If the co-respondent fails to return the form, or the co-respondent is not willing to admit to the adultery, then the petition cannot proceed as it stands and will need to be amended to either remove the co-respondent’s name or to behaviour rather than adultery.
Hiding assets in a divorce:
In any divorce proceedings, both parties are legally obliged to disclose all of their asses, and can begin doing so using a Form E from the government; this can be downloaded online, here. Still, there are many ways in which people still may attempt to hide assets throughout the process.
These include, but are not limited to:
Deliberate underestimation of business interests
Alluding to debts that do not actually exist
Failing to disclose money within a company
Attempting to transfer cash assets to third parties
Attempting to transfer cash assets to offshore accounts
Over the years, many people have been involved in divorces in which they are concerned about how their property, money, and other assets will be divided. Because of this, some people, especially those with a significant amount of assets, may feel tempted to try and hide these from their spouse in order to prevent them from receiving any share of them. When we see this at our local divorce solicitors, it normally always comes from a place of anger, in which one party feels resentment at the possibility of the other party receiving assets that they believe they solely worked for and deserve.
Under England and Wales law, the starting point for the division of assets in a divorce is always 50/50, and our family law experts will always try to ensure that this is adhered to in most cases. Still, the final divorce settlement may vary from case to case, and is dependant on the parties’ circumstances.
The hiding of assets in a divorce proceeding might seem like a good idea, but it is a huge risk, and is never worth it. If you are found to be hiding assets of any kind in a divorce, there are a number of different ways in which you can be punished by the course; this works on a case-to-case basis.
The offence could lead to the guilty party having to fork out for the others’ legal costs, or even doing worse off in the final settlement than they previously would have done. One of the worst, and most common, outcomes of hiding assets is that it can often lead to the complete breakdown of negotiations, resulting in the only option being to take the case to court.
Neither of us can afford to move out– does this delay divorce?
Many people believe that they are unable to start divorce proceedings unless they are physically separated from the other party when this need not be the case at all. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for the parties to remain living in the same property once one has communicated to the other that the marriage is over in their eyes, particularly when they have simply drifted apart, as neither party can afford to move out until such time as settlement of financial assets has been resolved. Another consideration may be care of the children particularly if one parent works night shifts.
Provided that the petitioner can show that they are living separate lives and are residing in two separate households under the same roof, then there is no reason to delay issuing the divorce.
Can inherited property be taken into account in my divorce settlement?
A concern for many divorcing couples, particularly those who have lost one or both parents, or have elderly parents, is whether any inherited property or assets will form part of the matrimonial pot. Our divorce solicitors know that in most cases the Court will treat assets which have been built up by the parties during the marriage differently than those which have been inherited. However, there are no set rules and each case will be decided on its own facts. This blog should hopefully provide a general overview as to the current stance of the Court.
One of the main cases in this area is that of White-v-White in which the Judge explained that inherited wealth ‘represents a contribution made by one party which is unmatched by an equivalent contribution made by the other’.
If an inheritance is received during the marriage and it has been used for the benefit of the parties / family generally, for example assisting with the purchase of the family home, or monies have been placed in a joint account, then it is likely to be classed as matrimonial property and will form part of the assets available for distribution.