“Matrimonial assets” mean property which is acquired during the marriage by one or both spouses through their own hard work and own efforts.
It does not mean:
- inherited property
- gifts provided to one of the spouses
- property or assets acquired before the marriage
Inherited property, or assets acquired prior to marriage, might be dealt with differently by the court in cases where there are sufficient other assets available for distribution.
There may be good reason to depart from equality of division of assets and leave these assets ring fenced. In practice, this is only going to happen in big money cases.
In most cases, there is simply not enough money available for distribution upon divorce. To achieve a fair outcome, inherited property, gifted property and property acquired before the marriage must fall within the “matrimonial pot” for distribution.
The court is not likely to take into account the likelihood of one of the parties inheriting assets in the future, unless that inheritance is likely to take place in the foreseeable future.
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