Will I get back the money or property that I brought into the relationship?
It depends since, as mentioned above, children are the first consideration, so meeting the needs of any children must be the priority.
After that, the aim is for fairness and there have been recent cases which try to distinguish between property which was generated by one person before the marriage or property which was inherited or received as a gift by one person and ‘matrimonial property’.
Generally, the Court tries to allow a person to retain assets they brought into the marriage as far as possible and tries to divide matrimonial assets equally. Matrimonial assets include things like the product of a joint business or jointly property.
However, it’s important to remember that the Court has a wide discretion about how to exercise its powers. The Judge may consider that there would be a good reason to take a different approach and will look at issues like needs when deciding whether and, if so, how, to act.
Unlike Heather Mills and Paul McCartney, most of us do not have vast sums of money to spend on arguing these sorts of issues. For this reason it is important to get specialist advice about how best to protect yourself in the event of a marriage breakdown.
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