Family Law Misconceptions

Family Law Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions surrounding family law. Here we answer some of the commonly held misconceptions, to ensure you have the facts you need.

  1. I am entitled to half of my ex-spouses inheritance

It is a widely held view that when a couple have separated that a former spouse is entitled to an inheritance obtained often years after divorce proceedings have been concluded.

What are the facts?

Inheritance prior to or during a marriage

If an inheritance is received prior to marriage, a former partner may be entitled to a percentage of this, particularly if they had benefit of these monies during the course of the marriage.

If however, prior to marriage you wish to ‘protect’ this from future claims, it may be possible to implement a (Link) pre-nuptial agreement.

Inheritance received whilst married

If an inheritance is received whilst you are married, it is dependent upon certain facts as to whether these monies will become part of the matrimonial assets or will remain separate. Even if they remain separate, they can be taken into account by a court when the court is dividing up matrimonial assets.

Inheritance received following the breakdown of a marriage

In circumstances where an inheritance is received following the breakdown of a marriage, it is likely that this will be excluded from the division of matrimonial assets. However, in some circumstances, the Court may determine that the value of an inheritance is such, especially by comparison to the matrimonial assets, that the fact that one party has access to such funds can be taken into account when the court is deciding upon how to divide up the matrimonial assets.

Any inheritance received after a final order has been made would not be dealt with by a court and it would be extremely that a further claim could be made. unlikely therefore meaning no further claim can be made on future inheritance.

If you would like to discuss the division of assets in divorce or have questions in relation to inheritance matters, please contact Kara Webster or Nicholas Clough on 0161 615 5554, by email to or via our livechat function.