When a party to a relationship receives an inheritance during the relationship or around the time of separation, it can create uncertainty and impede negotiations and resolution of your family law matter.

In family law matters, this issue turns on the facts of your case and the timing of the inheritance received. There is a need to firstly evaluate the inheritance within the circumstances of your case and to then determine how it will likely be treated in your property settlement.

When assessing an inheritance, some key considerations include:

  1. The timing of the inheritance, where in the term of your relationship it was received. For instance, was it received prior to the commencement of the relationship, was it received during the relationship, or after you had separated;
  2. Whether or not the party who did not receive the inheritance made some sort of contribution to it;
  3. How the inheritance was applied; and
  4. The size of the inheritance compared to the value of the existing property pool.

The issue of inheritances can be complex and if you or your ex former partner or spouse are about to become or are the recipient of an inheritance, we recommend you seek legal advice. The family law team at Chamberlains can be contacted at familylaw@chamberlains.com.au