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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My partner and I are not married but have lived together for

Customer Question

My partner and I are not married but have lived together for 25years.
We jointly own a house, and run a business together being equal shareholders (a very small business ie just the two of us) and we jointly have a mortgage on a small Industrial workshop which has approximately £100,000 equity. The mortgage on the house is paid off and this has a value of approximately £400,000. the business has an approximate value of £80,000. We have a 17 year old daughter who hopes to go to Uni in September.
Our relationship has broken down and we are looking for a way to separate. I am assuming that all assets will have to be split on a 50/50 basis though I would like confirmation of that.
I would like to stay in the house until my daughter has finished her education and I would like to know if a) that is possible and b) if her father has any legal obligation to support her financially until that time. I do not believe we are best served by selling the business as this would leave both of us without an income and for my partner especially it would be extremely difficult to find alternative employment. We are 55 and 57 respectively.

Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What do you mean when you say "finish her education"?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

By that I mean complete university which she will start in September of this year. That would be 3 years .

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Since you are not married the court has few powers in this situation.
Unless there is an agreement that states otherwise then the assets will indeed have to be divided equally between you.
I am afraid that unless your ex agrees there is no question of the sale of the property being delayed past your child's 18th birthday /A levels whichever is later
He will have to pay you child maintenance whilst the child is in secondary education.
Once she is in University then it is your daughter who can claim maintenance from him.
I am sorry not to give better news
Please ask if you need further details
Clare

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