I have read on the website about matrimonial and non-matrimonial property, and understand that as a marriage lengthens, then the division between these categories becomes very blurred. I am involved in a fairly amicable separation myself, but for my partner unfortunately this is not the case.
Being a musician (his wife is not), he owns a couple of musical instruments (2 guitars, 2 mandolins) which are very personal belongings. One of the mandolins was picked out of a skip, the other bought from a friend who no longer wanted it, fairly recently for £30 though it was probably worth more. The guitars are worth substantially more, probably to the tune of ^£3000. The marriage lasted 30 years. What are the chances of these items, which my partner has no intention of selling, being considered as non-matrimonial property, particularly the mandolins? I can understand the guitars being joint assets as they are worth more.
There are also a couple of items of furniture which were handmade for my partner as a personal gift within the last few years.
I know this sounds trivial, but the items are treasured possessions and we would like to know where we are likely to stand.
In technical legal terms the very long thirty year marriage means that all assets will pretty much be considered matrimonial.
However the personal belongings (or chattels) are not something that people usually have much problems dividing up reasonably amicably.
The talk about matrimonial and non-matrimonial is really usually concerned with houses, pensions, business - all the high value assets.
I really cannot see there being an issue especialy if he is flexible enough to leave her with a generous (half or more) amount of the more mundane chattels (fridge/sofa/tv/tables etc). He should be able to keep items of personal value to him.