and thanks question.
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3. As I said before - I hand over the majority of my salary every month also other income such as tax returns, sale of produce and livestock that I raise on the land goes into John's hands.
7. The estimated value of the land as a stand alone plot is £10,000. To sell the house without the land would knock 40 to 50 thousand pounds off the house value.
again and thanks information.
The legal position whose unmarried relationship ends is quite different from the legal position of a married person who divorces. Matrimonial legislation provides that once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party can ask the court to decide how the assets of the marriage should be divided, and the court will order that the assets be divided fairly, regardless of in whose name they were originally. And the matrimonial assets mean everything including pensions and money.
However, cohabiting couple who separate, the only claim that either can make against the other is in relation to property, and that claim must be based on property law, rather than what is fair.
If you and John can negotiate an agreement, then you can between you agree anything you want – but if you cannot reach agreement, the only powers that the court has is a) to make a declaration of ownership in property – ie stating what share you each have in the house and the land, and b) an order , which can be suspended until the youngest child of the family has reached 18.
To explain a) in more detail: There are two types of interests in land – one is the legal interest, which refers to the name or names on the title deeds, the other is the equitable interest (also called the beneficial interest). In your case, as both the house and the land are in John's sole name, you do not have a legal interest in either.
However, there is a possibility that you may have an equitable interest in either the house or the land if you could show the court that you made a financial contribution to the capital element of the mortgage, and/or to the purchase price and/or paid that increased the value of the land or the house. But you would almost certainly have to show a direct contribution eg a payment going from your bank account into the building society mortgage account, rather than just a general contribution to household expenses. If the court was satisfied that you had an equitable interest in either or both the house or the land, the court would then state exactly what your share of the equity (ie the value of the house or land, less any mortgage on it) was. And the court could then order that the house or land be sold and the net proceeds divided as per the shares that the court had ordered - but once it was established that you did have a share, John would have the option (to avoid an order ), of buying your share from you, ie paying you a lump sum of the amount that your share was worth.
If you cannot prove that you have an equitable interest in either the house or the land, there is an even more difficult-to-prove possibility that you may have a right to compensation under the principle of proprietary estoppel. This principle states that if you acted to your detriment (eg by selling your own property or by giving up a secure tenancy) by moving in with John in the belief that you would have a share of John's property because of a promise he made to you, eg that you would always have the house as your home, then it may be that the court would order John to make a payment to you.
I have to say that the legal position of people in your circumstances is not at all straightforward, and is the kind of case where I would always instruct a specialist barrister. Unfortunately, there is no longer any legal aid type of case. I would advise you to see a specialist family law solicitor, who can then take all your details and arrange barrister to give a written legal opinion. You can ring around a few solicitors to find out how much this is likely to cost. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:
But as going to court is time-consuming, stressful, and expensive, and with a very uncertain outcome, a better option is to try to negotiate with John as to what lump sum he could pay you (to enable you to move out and give you a fresh start), given the length of your relationship, and the financial support you have given him as well as help, over the years. You can negotiate either between the two of you, or via solicitors' correspondence, or via mediation. The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court. Mediation would seem to be your best option, given your nervousness around John it's going to be better to have a neutral person have a round-the-table discussion with both of you (but the mediation process starts with an individual appointment with each of you). And mediation is cheaper than seeing a solicitor. Here's where to find a local family mediation service:
In your negotiation, you could point out the approximate total of the sums of money you have given John over the years, the cost of paying someone else to do the housework, the gardening, and all the other jobs you have done etc. John might be prepared to agree a low rent land on its own, which would allow you to continue to keep your animals there, even after you'd moved out to smaller cheaper accommodation.
I would advise you to start looking accommodation as soon as possible. The Citizen's Advice Bureau can advise you about what help you can get with rent and council tax, and whether you would be entitled to apply authority accommodation, or if not now, at what age (that's why I asked your age), or in what circumstances. Here's where to find your local CAB:
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks and best wishes...