Hello again & thanks for the information.
Sorry for the delay - unfortunately this is not a 24hour service! But I've got back to you as soon as I could.
As you are not married, your rights in the property will depend on property law only. That means that the utility bills & car bills that you paid & furniture etc that you bought will not have any effect on the outcome.Your rights in the property will depend on a) the wording in the transfer document (which transferred the property from her sole name into your joint names) and then b) if the transfer document is not clear, your financial interest in the property ie the money you put into the property eg contribution to the purchase price, or work done to increase its value or contribution to the capital element of the mortgage.
In your case, although there is no document that states what shares you each have in the property, the property IS owned in joint names. For at least the last 10 years, all standard transfer documents for joint owners - unless stated otherwise - confirm that the property is owned equally. It is therefore most unlikely that a court would say that your share is more than 50% even if you did pay most of the mortgage.
If there is a dispute between you as to what your shares should each be, or whether the house should be sold, you need to make an application to court under section 14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (known as TLATA or TOLATA).
The court can only make two types of orders a) a declaration of the rights of each person in the property ie the percentage share of each of you in the equity and b) an order for sale - but if there are any dependent children it is likely that the order for sale would be suspended until the youngest child reaches 18 - in other words, your ex would not be ordered to sell the house until then, so if she does not agree to sell before then, or if her income is too low for the mortgage to be iput nto her sole name, you won't get your share until then, and your name will stay on the mortgage.
This is a complicated area of law, and I would defintely advise you to get face-to-face legal advice. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:-
Going to court is time-consuming, stressful and expensive, so if you can negotiate a solution that would be much better. You can negotiate either between the two of you, or via solicitors' correspondence or via mediation. Mediation is a round-the-table dscussion with a trained and neutral mediator whose aim is to help the parties reach a workable solution that is fair to both people.
Here's where to find a local family mediation service:-
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks and best wishes...