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Matrimonial Property

A recent case, Jack v Jack – [2016] CSIH 75, highlighted the complexities often raised by the division of matrimonial property.

The Judge initially had transferred the wife’s interest in a farming partnership to her husband and awarded a capital sum. He held that the husband’s interest in the partnership was not matrimonial property. The wife appealed to the Inner House. The husband’s father had initially operated the farming business as a sole trader and latterly transferred it to the partnership of X in which the husband and his mother were partners. The wife was later assumed as a partner. The Inner House refused the appeal. There were two main issues. The first, whether one farm, T, was partnership property of X or not. It was clear from all the relevant documentation and accounts that T was never part of X and it was conveyed to the husband alone. It had been gifted to the husband and it was not matrimonial property.

The second matter was whether Mr Jack’s interest in X was matrimonial property.  Again it was clear from all the documentation pertinent to the transfer of the father’s sole trading business to the partnership of X that this was a gift. Mr Jack’s interest was not therefore matrimonial property.

This is an equitable result. It is clear that these two assets were not the fruits of this marriage and accordingly should be excluded from the matrimonial property available for division and is particularly appropriate a Mrs Jack had obtained her interest in the partnership for no payment.

For further information, please contact Morven Douglas.

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