Protect Your Inheritance From Separation or Divorce
If you receive an inheritance or are likely to receive one in the very near future, then understandably you would want to retain it if you separate from your partner. However, it is likely that your ex-partner will want the inheritance to form part of the asset pool so that they can receive a greater entitlement. So, where does this leave you? There is no simple answer.
The best way to avoid your ex-partner from receiving your inheritance is to reach an amicable agreement about how to divide your assets. You are then able to formalise the agreement through Consent Orders with the Family Court which become binding on both parties. If you cannot reach an agreement then it is for the Court to determine whether your inheritance should form part of the asset pool.
The Court is likely to consider some of the following factors:
- Did you receive the inheritance before cohabitation commenced, during the relationship or after separation?
- Whether your ex-partner contributed to the inheritance, e.g. did they help with renovations to a property you inherited?
- Did you take any steps to quarantine the inheritance from your other assets?
- The value of the inheritance in comparison to the value of the overall asset pool.
The Court then has discretion to either allow you to retain the inheritance, or include the inheritance in the asset pool to be divided between you and your ex-partner. It is likely that the Court will take the first approach when you have received an inheritance shortly before or after separation.
Separating from your partner is never easy and neither is dividing your assets – particularly when you want to retain an asset like an inheritance. Our experienced Family Law team are here to help you navigate this process and put your interests first.
We are only a phone call away on (08) 7001 6135.