Parents with adult children should be aware that the family courts have wide powers to make financial provision when a marriage breaks down, such as ordering one party to pay the other’s maintenance (including child maintenance such as school fees), to transfer interests in residential property or to share their pension pot. Parents should also be aware of how far the division of assets can go – the family courts have a very wide discretion in determining what is a fair financial outcome having regard to all of the circumstances of the case at that time. If for example your child has inherited a significant sum from you, and shortly afterward the marriage breaks down, it is possible that the inheritance may be taken into account in the divorce and a significant part of it could be lost. This is very unlikely to be in accordance with the wishes of the parent or the provisions of their will.
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