Inherited assets on Divorce- can they be Ring-fenced?

This question is one which Skipton Solicitor Liz Hebden finds regularly crops up in cases where family wealth within a marriage has been increased by monies received from an inheritance.

In determining how assets should be divided on divorce, the Court has a wide discretion.  Whilst this flexibility enables each case to be looked at on its individual facts, it can be very difficult to accurately predict how inherited assets will be treated.

Relevant factors are:-

The type of asset ie cash/property.  Cash is more likely to form part of matrimonial assets than property which has passed through generations of the same family.

When the inheritance was received.  An inheritance received shortly before or after separation is less likely to form part of the matrimonial assets.

Whether the inherited assets have been kept separate from other matrimonial assets.  Assets that have been kept separate are more likely to be ring-fenced than those that have been ‘intermingled’ with other assets.

In all cases, the needs of both spouses will be carefully considered to ensure that fairness is achieved.  It is unlikely that inherited assets will be excluded if both of their needs cannot be met.

We offer a preliminary consultation at a fixed fee of £100.00- to arrange an appointment with our Head of Family Liz Hebden please call (01756) 692 871 or email

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