Divorce in N.I.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
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jtk174jtk174 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
Does anyone have experience of Divorce settlements in N.Ireland?
In particular, how money inherited during the marriage is treated, if say some was used to pay off a remaining joint mortgage or lodged into joint bank accounts? Is inherited money treated differently, even when it has been used in this way? ( i.e. subject to a different split compared to other monies/assets in the marriage)

I am looking for real life legal experiences here rather than what might be someone's opinion of what it should be.
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  • NARNAR Forumite
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    No it is not treated differently. It is considered an asset of the marriage, in the same way as any other monies are treated.
  • caz2703caz2703 Forumite
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    It's treated the same as long as it is disclosed. A friend of mine when divorcing his wife knew that she hadn't declared monies she got from the death of her dad but he didn't think it was fair to claim half of her inheritence even though she put him in debt during their marriage.
  • jtk174jtk174 Forumite
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    NAR wrote: »
    No it is not treated differently. It is considered an asset of the marriage, in the same way as any other monies are treated.

    Thanks for the reply. Are you in N.I.?
    I am being asked to agree to a 65/35 split even on money used to pay of a mortgage a few years ago. I wasn't expecting a 50/50 split but the offer seems a bit unfair.
    I can understand this might be the case where monies have been kept separate, but a joint mortgage and joint bank account I assumed would be different, even though they were financed from an inheritance.
  • i know when my brother divorced, my dads bit of inheritance(he had not long died when divorce hearing occurred) that the ex wife got half of that inheritance. very unfair as they had been separated a while , the wifes fault, yet brother penalised. o and yes im from NI.
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  • jtk174jtk174 Forumite
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    i know when my brother divorced, my dads bit of inheritance(he had not long died when divorce hearing occurred) that the ex wife got half of that inheritance. very unfair as they had been separated a while , the wifes fault, yet brother penalised. o and yes im from NI.

    Thanks for the reply. I am reading these replies and finding it hard to believe. Here's why, or at least the main issue for me ;

    My OH used inherited money to pay of the remaining part of a mortgage. The offer on the table wants to take that amount out of the sale of the house and subject it to a 65/35 split. The remainder would be a 50/50 split. Some similar monies are subject to a similar 65/35 split ( all inherited by OH ). But my redundancy, pension lump sum, savings etc are 50/50 !

    Thanks ever so much for replying. Any idea who the solicitors where ?
  • ballyblackballyblack Forumite
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  • jtk, what does your solicitor say - are they recommending you accept this offer or are they saying it is unacceptable?

    Were you the main wage earner - ie, is your redundancy, pension, lump sum substantially more than your OH's share of the "pot" if the inheritance is treated differently?

    There is no rule giving special treatment to inherited assets on divorce in NI and therefore it looks like your OH's solicitor might be testing you. Hence my question as to your solicitor's opinion.
  • jtk174jtk174 Forumite
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    jtk, what does your solicitor say - are they recommending you accept this offer or are they saying it is unacceptable?

    Were you the main wage earner - ie, is your redundancy, pension, lump sum substantially more than your OH's share of the "pot" if the inheritance is treated differently?

    There is no rule giving special treatment to inherited assets on divorce in NI and therefore it looks like your OH's solicitor might be testing you. Hence my question as to your solicitor's opinion.


    Thanks for your reply.
    My OH is worth more than me because of the inheritance.
    As a result all of the inherited money is being treated differently, even some that was used to pay off a joint mortgage and build an extension. They want to take this money from the sale of the house and split it 65/35 and the rest of the sale proceeds 50/50.
    The current offer negotiated by my barrister would see me keep the house but give ALL my money to my OH. Leaving me to live on a very small pension.
    When I said to the barrister it wasn't a realistic deal, basically I was told that I could always ask for a second opinion ( from another barrister ).
    When I questioned the solicitor about what was realistic, they said there was no hard and fast rule. Which may in itself be true, but there must be indicators and precedence??

    I have apparently had 2 offers in 18 months, but I have only seen one. I asked the solicitor for info on the first one and was told "don't worry about it as it's no longer on the table!"

    It's a nightmare and I am happy to move it on. I just don't want to get taken for a mug by either party.
  • I don't have any personal or professional experience of this jtk but I did study family law as part of my degree and this doesn't sound fair. Clearly I don't know all the facts but I would be wary of just lying down and accepting what you are offered.

    As your solicitor has said there are no hard and fast rules but it does seem unusual for one party to have their contribution to the marital assets treated differently than the other's.

    Personally I would press your legal advisers to explain this better - ask what are the legal precedents that would support this offer. If they can't give them then ask them to reject the offer and ask for 50/50 of all assets. Make them do their job properly and not fob you off. It is totally unacceptable and unprofessional that there was an offer on the table which you were not told about, regardless of how poor it was - they have a legal duty to inform you of all offers. Good luck. :)
  • edited 28 February 2011 at 12:42AM
    NARNAR Forumite
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    edited 28 February 2011 at 12:42AM
    Personally I would press your legal advisers to explain this better - ask what are the legal precedents that would support this offer. If they can't give them then ask them to reject the offer and ask for 50/50 of all assets. Make them do their job properly and not fob you off. It is totally unacceptable and unprofessional that there was an offer on the table which you were not told about, regardless of how poor it was - they have a legal duty to inform you of all offers. Good luck. :)
    jtk174 I totally agree with this advice. Are your solicitor and barrister experienced in divorce work? If not you could get poor advice, as it sounds like your OH has a good divorce legal team working for him. Unfortunately the team I had have now retired, but others could suggest suitable replacements to you if necessary.
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