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Dissecting the ambush

It is not uncommon for assets to become 'nuptualised' after marriage, but what happens when a trust has been setup by the couple which expressly prohibits either party from benefiting from it?

11 February 2016

England does not have marital property regimes that determine what happens to assets on divorce. There is no strict rule that inherited or pre-acquired wealth will be excluded from consideration.

In White v White [2000] UKHL 54, Lord Nicholls stressed that it was not necessary to conduct a detailed examination into who owned precisely what. However, it is important to know the size of the cake for division and the provenance of the wealth can be relevant in deciding whether the end result is 'fair'.

The court exercises a wide discretion, taking into account the particular factors specified in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA), often called the section 25 factors.

The duty of the court is 'to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, first consideration being given to the welfare…. of any child of the family'....

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