FAQ: What classes as matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets in UK divorce?
While seemingly simple at first, the difference between matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets can become confusing during a divorce. The basic definitions and starting points are as follows:
- Matrimonial assets – financial assets acquired during a marriage, by either you or your spouse
- Non-matrimonial assets – financial assets acquired before a marriage
How are these treated during a divorce?
Each divorce settlement is different – specific to the couple applying for divorce. As such, this means that some non-matrimonial assets may end up included in a settlement. It depends on aspects such as:
- The length of the marriage
- Whether or not any children are involved in the settlement
- The contributions made by both spouses during a marriage
- The financial stability of each spouse
- The needs of each spouse
In short, this could lead to the court splitting assets which appears to be a non-matrimonial asset – a home owned outright before a marriage, for example – in order to ensure a fair settlement which takes into account the financial well-being of all parties and any children.
Assets and prenuptials
Prenuptial agreements can go towards protecting non-matrimonial assets in case of a divorce. While these agreements are not legally binding, they will usually be taken into consideration by the court during the financial settlement.
The division of matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets can be difficult to understand, so it’s essential you seek legal advice during a divorce to attain the fairest possible settlement for you and your ex.
Want to discuss this in more detail?? You can arrange an initial fixed fee consultation regarding divorce proceedings, get in touch with us today for a confidential discussion and we’ll be happy to help. Our offices are conveniently based in Harrow, London, with on site car parking and accessible from public transport links. Alternatively, if you are overseas we can arrange a Skype call with you if it is more convenient.