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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32980
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a query on behalf of a cohabiting couple who face a

Resolved Question:

I have a query on behalf of a cohabiting couple who face a possible split.
I would like to know the legal entitlements of the parties.
I outline the circumstances as follows:
The male partner (G) bought a house with a mortgage in 2007 as a project to renovate it and during the initial renovations lived with his mother as he always had. The house is in his name. The mortgage is paid by him and is in his name.
During this time he was friends with a young lady (K) who lived with her mother and father.
Some time after some of the renovations were undergoing but the house was habitable they moved into the house together. G has a full time job working six days a week and long shifts.
In I think, 2010 a male child was born and two years later another male child was born.
K now works 20 hours a week. They have not married.
G pays for the mortgage and any hire purchase (car etc), but K contributes to the food from her income. One child is now at school and the other is in nursery two days a week.
In the event of a split with the children staying with the mother (K), what entitlements would she have and what would G have. What responsibilities would G have? In particular would he keep the house and what provision (if any) would he have to make for K and the two children?
If you need further information please advise and I will obtain it as I am making this enquiry on behalf of G.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my bets to help you but I need some further information first

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

What income do they each actually have?

How much does a cheaper two bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I will need to consult G and come back to you. Please reply so I don't lose the link as I am not very computer savvy.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

No worries - you will always be able to find us!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
House is valued at around £128K and G still owes £83K G's income is £38 to £40K and K's income is around £8400. I am unsure how to get the information on a cheaper house in the area but they will exist.This house is three bedroom.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The range of 2 bed semis in that area are £99,000 to £120,000 for sale
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Has K made any financial or other contributions to improvements to the property?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
K has never made any financial contribution whatsoever to improvements to the property.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Did G ever promise K a share of the house ?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying. I had difficulty contacting G.I am advised that G never promised K any share of the house and has always made it clear it was his house and his project.
However he did propose and get a ring some time ago. And recently under pressure put a deposit on a wedding some many months hence. The relationship has seriously soured in the last months and during the difficulties K has on at least one occasion said she would look for a house and move out. There is still no real reconciliation and G wanted to know where he stood legally.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

The problem that G has is that under Schedule 1 of the Children Act he is under a duty to help house his children until the youngest child is 18 and this could give K the right to remaining the property until then.

At that point K would have to leave the property and it would revert to G.

In the mean time K would have to pay the mortgage from her child maintenance and other sources of income.

However in addition K might have a small financial claim based on the engagement and any implied suggestion that the house "belonged" to both of them - but it would be a difficult argument for her to successfully sustain in the absence of separate evidence of his intentions.

I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further details

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32980
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you Clare. I will need to contact G and advise him of your reply when I can talk to him privately and ensure that he has no further supplementary questions.The one that occurs to me is if G has the responsibility to help house his children until the youngest is 18 he could do that by either paying or contributing (which?) to a rented property in the same school area until they are 18. I assume it doesn't have to be the house in which they are living now. I would be grateful for your clarification. Thank you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I do apologise for the delay. I have now managed to speak to G. He would like clarification of how exactly "help house his children" is interpreted and if there is any way he can keep the house in which he currently resides out of the equation. Could he contribute to the rent of another property?. It is not thought K would be able to afford the mortgage from whatever allowances she receives.
I realise we may be straying into a new question and if you think we are I will understand if there is another fee.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Paying the rent on an alternative property is a possibility BUT it lacks the security of an owned property - however a deal where he pays K a lump sum to leave and rehouse herself might be attractive given that if she remains in the current house then when the child is 18 she walks away with nothing

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