The court’s ultimate objective is to achieve an outcome that is “fair” in all the circumstances of the case. The “sharing principle” has developed so that in longer marriages family assets will be divided equally between the two of you unless a departure from equality is justified on a basis such as “need” or because of pre acquired assets. So far as inherited assets are concerned or assets introduced externally to the marriage then the court may regard those as “non-matrimonial property” and this may give rise to a departure from the normal sharing principles. The courts have a wide discretion.
Inherited property and pre or post marriage acquired property will not be ring-fenced but the court will look, amongst other things, at;
• When the assets came into existence
• The nature and extent of the assets.
• The length of your marriage.
• Whether the assets still exist.
• How it was treated by you during your marriage.
• Whether it needs to be shared to meet both or either of your needs.
• The way in which you organised your financial arrangements.
At Aaron & Partners, we will look very carefully at these issues and give timely and practical advice. By adopting sound judgment, we can argue that certain non matrimonial assets should be excluded altogether from the ordinary sharing exercise.