Can your ex-spouse benefit from your parents?

Can your ex-spouse benefit from your parents?

It isn’t uncommon nowadays for parents or grandparents to help their younger generations financially. Whether that’s just with everyday bills or something larger: a car or house, or to build up some investment savings and trusts.

But when your child/grandchild gets engaged, after raising a glass and toasting the happy couple, should you schedule an appointment with your financial adviser and solicitor?

It may seem pretty cynical. Perhaps it is, but it’s also sensible. As high as your hopes are for the couple being together forever, you need to be realistic with the divorce rate being as high as it is these days. In divorce, marital assets are divided according to the law and it’s likely you’ll want to protect your child/grandchild’s trust assets should the marriage fail. It is rare that family want their child’s trust to provide for an ex spouse after divorce.

With regards to the trust, make sure the terms specifically state that the funds and income should never be considered marital property or be used to calculate alimony. Importantly tell your child not to mix their trust monies with other non-trust money, i.e. not to make joint purchases using this money otherwise it could risk negating the distinction.


Discussing sensitive issues around money is best done early in a blossoming relationship. Also when you establish a trust, make your intentions crystal clear. It’s impossible to account for every potential scenario. But the terms of the trust should cover multiple contingencies. If a parent intends to support a son or daughter-in-law even in the event of a divorce from their own child, that needs to be specifically stated.

Getting financial advice is important at so many stages in life. Savvy aim to ensure that you build up your wealth while you are working, receive a tax efficient income when you stop and pass on as much as possible when you die. A caveat is to secure that legacy from being reduced if life doesn’t work out as imagined.

Don’t let you or your family’s financial security be at risk Savvy will help you dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

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