My partner and I are seperating after 25 years - we have 2 children but only one of whom is below 18 and in full time education.
I know that any gifts or inheritances are not included as marital assets and therefore not split between us when we seperate. However what about interest or dividends paid by investments made from an inheritance? My ex inherited a considerable amount of money some years ago and has it invested in stocks and shares which pay out interest/dividends which she has saved seperately and never put into any joint account. Is this counted as joint income and therefore should any savings generated in this way be shared during seperation?
Also is this inheritance and the income stream it generates also included in calculating/deciding any alimony or child support?
There are four steps which should be considered before making a decision about the financial arrangements. Please note that matrimonial property is that which is accrued between the date of marriage and the date of separation.
1. Establishing the date of separation on which the married couple cease to cohabit as man and wife.
2. Identifying all the assets owned jointly or individually by a couple at the separation date including the house, furnishings, a car, pensions, savings and investments and any outstanding liabilities (mortgage, car finance, personal loans, credit card debts etc) in existence on the date of separation.
3. Determining any non matrimonial property by looking at the individual assets and seeing the circumstances in which they were acquired. Assets owned by either party before the marriage or those gifted or inherited are not matrimonial property.
4. Valuing matrimonial assets as at the date of separation, for example, by providing statements for savings, asking insurance companies for surrender valuations of endowments and pension providers for the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value. Endowment policies and pensions started before marriage are apportioned for the years of the marriage. It's best to have agreement before having the house valued by a Chartered Surveyor. The liabilities are deducted from the assets to provide the net value of matrimonial property.
I would argue that any interest gained from the inheritances would be classed as marital assets, as the interest is not a part of the original inheritance. Once the inheritance has been used to buy other things it is no longer in its original format.
Under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 there is a general obligation to provide support "as is reasonable in the circumstances" by a husband and wife to each other, a natural parent to their child and a person to a child who has been accepted by him as a child of his family. This is known as 'aliment' and could apply equally to the situation when husband and wife or parent(s) and child live together as when they are separated. A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years or over that age and under the age of 25 years who is in education or training.
Not really - child maintenance is fairly standard in that the non-resident parent pays a percentage of his or her net income, 15% for one child, 20% for 2 and 25% for 3+
However, your daughter is entitled to make her own claim for ailment. IN Scotland there is a general obligation for parents to support their children in education until the age of 25, regardless of income/assets. This is both parents, not just the NRP.
Assets worth more than £65k come into the equation. For basic CSA assessments income generated from investments isn't taken into account. However, the parent with the majority of care may apply for a variation to the basic calculation if the non resident parent has assets in excess of £65k.
Thanks for responses. To avoid any doubt I am happy to pay my share of child maintenance however it is calculated.
However there will be school fees involved and I am unsure as to how these should be shared between us. Should my ex's assets and income derived from these assets be taken into account when calculating who pays what percentage? It seems unfair that I could pay the majority of the fees if my ex is sitting on a large 'inherited' investment portfolio and a sizeable income drawn down from this. I am not wanting to avoid my responsibilities but merely trying to ascertain how best to come to agreement! As a note of interest my ex has kept her personal finances secret for a number of years now and her sol is trying to avoid disclosing all existing assets - is this acceptable?