Does land which is not matrimonial property subsequently become matrimonial property when a house which is then used as a matrimonial home is built on it? Or does the fact that the house was built on non- matrimonial land disqualify the building from being deemed matrimonial property?

These were the issues at a debate before Sheriff Summers in Aberdeen, GG v WG [2017] SC ABE 35.

The sheriff rejected the pursuer’s contention that the plot of land was converted to matrimonial property merely by the fact of a house being built on it. This was not akin to inherited assets being realised and used to buy a new item of property. There was no realisation of the plot of land.

Likewise, the sheriff rejected the notion that while the house might be matrimonial property, the law of accession applied which rendered the building indivisible from the land and it ceased to be matrimonial property. The underlying nature of the assets was not changed.

He acknowledged that there would, however, be practical difficulties in valuing the house separately and distinctly from the plot of land on which it was built.