When a relationship breaks down

Property and Separation

It was reported in 2019 that 1 in 8 couples – over 6 million people – were living together in the UK without being married or in a civil partnership. It is more common than ever for couples to take their time before getting married, or even decide that marriage isn’t for them. In today’s housing market many couples feel that buying a property is a financial priority and put the expense of a wedding to one side in favour of buying their own place.

Common-Law marriage hasn’t existed in UK Law since 1753, but it is still a widely used misconception. In fact, 2 in 3 of unmarried couples are not aware that there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’ in England and Wales, and that even if you have lived together for many years, you may not have the same rights to the property as a married couple would.

Divorce and Separation

Your Free Guide

Divorce and Separation

Going through a relationship breakdown can be difficult enough without confusing legal jargon and worries about the process. Our free guide walks you through the divorce process, the first 3 steps you should take, and the different routes available to get the best outcome.

When a relationship breaks down

If your ex-partner was the sole owner of the property, you might now feel left in the cold, worried that you don’t have a claim. You might have contributed towards your family home in other ways, such as mortgage payments or paying for improvements to the house. You feel that it would be unfair for your partner to walk away with the property that you contributed to financially.

If you have broken up amicably, you might not even be aware that you are entitled to a portion of the property. Perhaps your house was jointly owned, but you find yourself unsure of the next best steps.

Don’t walk away empty handed

You might feel that you and your partner agreed you would contribute towards the property in exchange for you to have some ownership. This was never officially agreed in writing, and now the agreement isn’t being honoured in the breakup.

Although you do not have the same claim to an ex-partner’s property as you would an ex-spouse, you may have a claim to the property if you can demonstrate that you have a ‘beneficial interest’. Under the Law of Trusts, you could show that you have an ‘interest’ in the property through your contributions to it.

Making a Claim

The law of trusts is a very complicated area. Our Dispute Resolution team are experts in identifying claims and helping our clients to obtain the best result possible. We understand the complexity of disputes between ex-partners and will work with you to form the right strategic approach. If you need us to, we will communicate with your ex-partner on your behalf.

We are skilled negotiators and will try our best to resolve your dispute as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If this isn’t possible, we are fully capable of taking your matter to Court. The Courts have the right to decide what is fair depending upon the individual factors of each case, so it is essential that you seek expert legal advice to ensure that the right resolution is found.

Daniel Mattess

Heading up our Family Law Department, Daniel is a Solicitor with a wealth of experience in Divorce and Family Law matters.

Read More About Daniel
It has been a very stressful time recently during my divorce and financial settlement, but the way I’ve been treated and advised by Burt Brill & Cardens has been overwhelmingly satisfying. I’ve been in good hands every step of the way, but it’s the friendly human attitude that makes them different amongst the rest and that’s a calming and reassuring feeling.

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