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History: Home UK Divorce Forum
Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce? (10 Posts)
Started By:
21 January, 2018 12:39AM
Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
Sparrow - 21 January, 2018 12:39AM
I am in the process of commencing divorce proceedings with my wife and have a couple of doubts.

We have been married for 15 years and have three adult children over the age of 18, all in fulltime education. We own a property abroad under joint names but I have solely been paying the mortgage as she has not worked since we married. To be honest, she has no savings, no pension and no real credit history and being 53yrs old she would potentially struggle to even be considered for a loan or mortgage suitable to buy a property under her own name. Our property abroad is worth very little and even in the event of me giving her all the equity on the property after the sale (approx 70K) she will find it hard to afford to buy anything in the UK at current market prices. I have a net income of around 40K, no savings or assets and have contributed poorly to a state pension abroad. So to some up; asset-wise I really don't have much to offer her in a Financial Settlement which will guarantee her a comfortable retirement. In the future, when my father passes away I guess I will be entitled to a share of a property he owns which could be worth 300k, which to be brutally honest is what i'm banking on for my retirement. My question is, is she entitled to any of that inheritance in the future even after we're divorced?
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
HatMan - 21 January, 2018 07:17AM
Simple answer - No.
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
davidterry - 21 January, 2018 10:58AM
Provided you deal with the financial issues arising from the marriage now and do so formally and finally within the context of the divorce. If you leave the financial issues hanging in the air and fail to deal with them formally and finally in the divorce proceedings your former spouse will be able to make financial claims upon you perhaps many years in the future. Provided these claims are closed off now what happens in the future has nothing to do with your ex spouse. However, this very much depend upon dealing with these issues now.

Read the judgement in the case of Vince v Wyatt to see what can happen if you do not deal with these issues now.

Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
Sparrow - 21 January, 2018 06:06PM
Many thanks for your replies. Very useful.

Just to expand on the matter. The house in question (owned solely by my father) which I will potentially inherit in the future, is currently the house where she lives in the UK with the youngest of my daughters (aged 19). My wife is currently allowed to live there rent free thanks to the generosity of my father. I live in rented accomodation and apart from my own outgoings I pay all the bills at my father's house where she lives.

Does she have any claim on the property in the future as a longterm tenant?
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
davidterry - 21 January, 2018 06:13PM
It would have been more helpful if you had said that at the outset rather than giving half the picture. Since your wife is living in the house rent free she is a dependant of your father's. If he were to die while that was the case (or within six months of it having been the case) your wife would have a claim against his estate as a dependant. Unless your father gets her out of the property as things currently stand she has a stronger claim upon the property than you do.
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
Sparrow - 21 January, 2018 07:14PM
Apologies for not disclosing everything.I guess it was an important fact to reveal.

So lastly, if my father started charging her rent would that change matters entirely regarding the 'dependancy' issue?

Thanks again for your help.
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
davidterry - 22 January, 2018 10:10AM
Assuming he charges her a full market rent and he does not subsidise her in any other way it would make a difference, yes. However, so long as she is living in the house there is the possibility of her making a claim whether that claim has merit or not.
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
Sparrow - 22 January, 2018 12:08PM
Thank you. Would a legally signed agreement between my wife and my father waiving any claims on the property have any weight?
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
xhikarux - 07 March, 2018 04:36PM
I have a similar question to this.. what about the children? Can they claim any inheritance if the father suddenly pass away?
Re: Can spouse claim inheritance after divorce?
davidterry - 07 March, 2018 06:33PM
Depends on the age of the children, whether there is any estate to leave and whether there is a surviving spouse. Assuming, of course, that the question means there is no will.
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