It is often the case that people in a relationship receive an inheritance during their relationship and apply it towards buying a joint asset or perhaps paying off a mortgage or other debts. If they then separate are they entitled to “get it back”?

The short answer is “no”, but it does not end there and is not as simple as that. An inheritance of any significant amount will still usually have an impact on what share of the assets each party gets following separation and will usually result in a better share of the assets for the person who received the inheritance – but not on a “dollar for dollar” basis. There are however many factors to consider when determining how the inheritance impacts on people’s entitlements including:-

  1. The length of your relationship.
  2. The amount of the inheritance.
  3. How the inheritance was used.
  4. The length of time that has passed since the inheritance was received.
  5. Whether the inheritance was received before or after separation.

If an inheritance was received by you or your partner during your relationship and you have not completed your property settlement, it is very important that you obtain specialist legal advice on the specific facts of your matter so that you can obtain a fair outcome in your settlement.  We encourage you to contact any of our male or female family lawyers on 4651 4800.