Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Divorce, Inheritance, Inheritance, Property, Property
Judges:  Aldridge JBryant CJRyan J

Background: The Full Court of the Family Court of Australia in Western Australia heard an Appeal by a husband who argued that an inheritance received 4 years after separation should not be included in the property to be divided between him and his ex-wife. The parties were married for 8 years and were divorced in 2011.They had one child who was 5 years old at the time of separation. In 2014 the husband received an inheritance from his father’s estate. The wife commenced proceedings more than 3 years after separation and was granted the Court’s leave under Section 44 (3) of the Family Law Act to pursue a property settlement claim. 
  [Legal Issue]The central issue on appeal was whether the trial Judge erred by including the husband’s post separation inheritance within the parties’ property pool available for division. The husband argued that his inheritance should not be included in the pool because of the degree of “connection” or more to the point, the lack of connection, between the inheritance and the parties’ matrimonial relationship. The husband was unsuccessful in taking that position and his appeal was dismissed. The Justices of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia, Chief Justice Bryant, Justice Ryan and Justice Aldridge concluded that the Court retained a discretion as to how to approach the treatment of property acquired after separation. Conversely in the case of Holland & Holland [2017] FamC   [Court Orders](1) The appeal against the orders made by Magistrate Calverley on 17 November 2016 is dismissed. (2) The appellant pay the respondent’s costs of the appeal as agreed or in default of agreement as assessed. The husband was unsuccessful in excluding his post-separation inheritance from the asset pool. The trial judge assessed contributions as 65%/35% in the husband’s favour, which included a 10% adjustment to the wife for future needs. No appealable error established – Appeal dismissed      

 ] Download Decision