To be able to consider this, we first of all need to establish what matrimonial assets are.
They include assets which have been obtained or accrued by joint endeavour or marital aquest. In other words, the parties have together paid for or assisted each other in buying or securing a particular asset.
Matrimonial assets will be taken into account as part of the financial negotiations and will be split as part of the divorce or dissolution.
Conversely, non-matrimonial assets are those which are brought into the marriage or civil partnership by one party or the other or have been acquired after separation.
Some broad examples would be valuable paintings gifted to the wife five years before the marriage which have been kept in storage rather than being enjoyed by the family or a lump sum inheritance received by one civil partner one year after the parties separated.
It could also include assets gifted or inherited during the relationship but this is where the area becomes quite complex and would need to be considered on a case by case basis.
The second strand to non-matrimonial assets is whether they need to be taken into account in the settlement or not.
If there are sufficient matrimonial assets to meet both parties financial needs, then it may be that the non-matrimonial assets can be retained by those who received them. If not then they may be taken into account.
Again each case is unique and it is crucial, if you feel that there may be non-matrimonial assets in your case, to seek legal advice.
For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you to talk through your options and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.