One of the most difficult questions our expert family lawyers are asked is whether an inheritance should be split with an ex-spouse following separation. In answering this question, we need to consider:
- The length of the relationship
- At what point in the relationship was the inheritance received
- The amount of the inheritance
- How the inheritance was used by the recipient
- Other financial and non-financial contributions of each party
- Other assets available to the parties
- The size of the asset pool available for division
- Whether the other party contributed to the receipt of the inheritance or the asset acquired by the inheritance.
For example, if a party received an inheritance shortly before separation, this financial contribution is more likely to be given more weight than an inheritance received at the beginning of a long relationship.
In some circumstances, a Court will ‘quarantine’ an inheritance from the rest of the assets available for division. However, assets are not automatically protected merely because they were inherited. Our expert family lawyers can assist you to assess into which category your inheritance is likely to fall.
If you have not yet received your inheritance and you would like advice about how to protect that inheritance, our expert family lawyers can assist with your asset protection enquiries.
For more information and advice about the likely treatment of an inheritance in your unique circumstances, meet one of our expert family lawyers at our Glen Waverley or Melbourne office. Click here to get in touch.