Non-matrimonial or non-civil partnership assets
Non-matrimonial or non-civil partnership assets

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Non-matrimonial or non-civil partnership assets
  • General principles
  • Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane
  • Other case law
  • Pre-marriage/civil partnership assets
  • Passive growth
  • Assets acquired during the marriage or civil partnership
  • Assets acquired after separation
  • General approach
  • Bonuses
  • More...

There is no statutory definition of a non-matrimonial asset, but the distinction between such assets and those that form part of the marital acquest has been considered at length in case law. The court will have regard to an argument that property is non-matrimonial in nature as part of its consideration of the provisions of section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) or Schedule 5, Part 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (in particular as to the assets of the parties, the contributions of the parties and 'all the circumstances of the case'), see Practice Note: Factors considered by the court on financial provision.

Whether or not an asset forms part of the marital acquest will also impact on the application of the general principles applied by the court (see Practice Note: Compensation, sharing and equality). A party who seeks to define an asset as non-matrimonial will generally do so with the intention of excluding that asset from the general principles applied to matrimonial assets.

The courts' approach to assets arising from an inheritance (which may also be non-matrimonial) is considered separately, see Practice Note: Inherited assets.

In White v White, Lord Nicholls developed the concept of matrimonial as opposed to non-matrimonial property, but adding that ‘in the ordinary course, this factor [in White, inherited assets] can be expected to carry little weight,

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