Division Of Assets
The division of assets following separation in Scotland is governed by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 which states that assets should be divided fairly (which usually means equally). The Act also promotes a clean break principle concerning the division of assets and liabilities enabling both parties to lead independent lives post-divorce.
Generally speaking the nature and extent of the matrimonial assets are all assets such as property, pensions, savings and investments acquired between the date of marriage or civil partnership and the date of separation, and property acquired before the marriage for use as a family home
There are however a number of exceptions to this general principal.. For example, matrimonial or partnership property does not include assets which have been gifted to or inherited by an individual during the course of the marriage or civil partnership, so long as they remain in their original form and have not been converted into another, for example using a cash inheritance to purchase a new family home.
In those circumstances it could be argued that there should be a departure from equal division as the source of funds used to purchase the asset were non matrimonial. This is very much a discretionary argument which does not guarantee that there should be a departure from equal sharing.
Minute of agreement
Any agreement reached by parties in respect of the division of the matrimonial assets can be made legally binding by recording the terms in a formal written agreement commonly referred to as a Separation Agreement. Early advice from a solicitor explaining the legal principles governing the division of assets is recommended.
Protection Of Assets
Separation may give rise to tax consequences such as income, capital gains and inheritance tax. We have a team of experts on hand who can address the complete picture, organising and structuring the affairs of individuals and families, assuring risk management and tax efficiency.
We can advise you on Asset protection through the use of a Trust and advise you about which type of trust is suitable for your needs and assist with the ongoing administration.