Resolving finances on non-married family breakdown
There is no such thing as a common law marriage.
If you have been living with a person in a property that is jointly owned, sometimes it is simple to resolve what should happen to the property when you separate in lots of cases however, there is disagreement as to how much of a property each of you own, including how much each of you have contributed towards the purchase of the property, it’s maintenance and improvement. This is a complex area of law, and we will provide you with expert advice about your entitlement and what steps you should take to protect and maximise your interest.
If you have lived with someone but the property is the sole name of only one of you there is still a potential entitlement to an interest in that property. We will be able to advise you on what your entitlement may be and what steps you should take to protect and maximise your interest. No one automatically acquire rights in a property merely by living with another person. Nor does the court have a general overarching discretion as to what to do when the relationship breaks down.
If agreement cannot be reached, property disputes are usually settled by an application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 for a declaration as to your interest in a property and/or an order for sale to realise it.
There are also mechanisms for resolving what should happen to other assets built up during the relationship including savings and contents of properties.
The law in this area is complicated and fast changing. There are potentially serious costs consequences of getting it wrong.