Protecting a husband’s inherited property

Christopher acted for the Respondent Husband in a difficult case where low incomes and limited equity in the family home limited the potential for both parties to afford housing.

It was already agreed that the Wife should stay in the home with the children until they had finished school.

The complicating factor in this case was that during the marriage Christopher’s client had been left an interest in a property by his mother. However that interest was unrealisable as the Husband’s stepfather had a life interest, so he could only obtain his share if his stepfather chose to sell, or passed away.

The Wife’s case was that she that she should retain the Family home absolutely and have a 20% share in the Husband’s inherited property.

Christopher successfully argued that the Husband’s inheritance was not a matrimonial asset and that the Wife’s needs were met with his proposal that she remain living in the home until the children were grown up. His client conceded that the Wife should have a larger share of the family home.

The court accepted Christopher’s argument about his client’s inherited property, and that the Wife and children should remain in the family home. The Wife was awarded her only a 70% interest in the family home, and the Husband retained the whole of his interest in the inherited property.