This is always a bit of a tricky question, because it varies depending on each individual matter and your personal circumstances. The timing of the inheritance plays a big part in this. For example, an inheritance received late in the relationship or after separation, has a greater chance of being ‘quarantined’ or ‘protected’ from the total property ‘pool’ available for division between spouses.  

However, contributions made by the non-related spouse to the care of the deceased, or services provided under the ‘shared expectation’ of the inheritance, may result in shared division of the inheritance regardless of the date received.

An inheritance received during the course of the relationship or before the commencement of the relationship, will likely be treated as a ‘contribution’ made by the receiving party, with an allowance made for it in the final division of assets. But once again, this depends on the timing of the inheritance and the amount received.

If you have any questions about inheritance or separation, please contact our office on (08) 8410 9294 or contact the writer directly at: e.douglas@adelaidelegal.com. Adelaide Legal, Expect More.

Written by Ellie Douglas, Associate Lawyer.