In today’s society, separation and divorce are much more commonplace, but this doesn’t make dividing your property or assets any easier. There are several things to consider when separating from your partner. Deciding who gets what and whether someone is entitled to the other’s personal effects can be extremely tricky business.
Everyone has the right to protect their own interests, for example, you may have a property you wish to keep which was inherited during your marriage. However, you need to know where you stand legally when it comes to inheritance as every case is different.
To give you some insight on your personal situation, here we have outlined some common concerns when it comes to inheritance and separation:
Is My ex-partner Entitled to my Inheritance after we’ve Separated?
In some cases, your ex-partner might be entitled to your inheritance after you’ve separated but this depends on whether your inheritance qualifies as part of your marital assets. Marital assets refer to all property during the course of the marriage regardless of ownership or who holds the title of it. This is up to certain nuances within your relationship including:
- The timing you received the inheritance (whether it was received early on or right before you separated from your partner);
- Whether the assets from inheritance were shared e.g. a car or a lump sum of money which was placed into a joint bank account;
- Whether some of the inherited assets or funds were used during the relationship (e.g. whether they were used for a family business or home improvements); and
- The size of the inheritance (in comparison to the total pool of joint assets before the inheritance was received).
How are Marital Assets Divided?
If you and your ex-partner cannot come to an agreement with how your marital assets should be divided including any inheritance, then normally you will need to attend family dispute resolution before any Court proceedings. The is the best way to avoid additional emotional and financial stress within your relationship.
If you cannot come to an agreement with your former spouse or de facto partner, then you will need to apply for property orders through the Courts. You should be aware that there is no guarantee with how assets will be determined and divided by a judge in Court. They will make their decision based on what evidence of your inheritance is presented in Court and on your individual circumstances with your partner, both personally and financially.
Get Professional Advice from an Expert Lawyer
Protecting your inheritance isn’t always straightforward. It’s always best to seek professional legal advice as early as possible so you can assess all your options and understand where you stand.
At Le Brun & Associates, we understand that separating from your partner is an extremely stressful and emotional time, that’s why we provide a free 30-minute consultation to assess your needs and inform you of your options.