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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9339
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I've been with my partner, we have a 15yr son together

Resolved Question:

Hi , I've been with my partner for 27yrs , we have a 15yr son together ...the house we live in is in his name ,I've never been on the mortgage ,all of the bills are in his name , my question is if we separate am I entitled to anything ?? ....thank you
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Have you contributed financially towards the property? Have you done any decorating or improvements, gardening et cetera?

Did he ever promise that the house will be yours or part of it if ever you broke up or he died?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Cleaning , upkeep of the property, gardening , yes I do ....he hasn't a will but he has said he wants to leave the house to our son
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

If he dies but never got divorced from the previous wife, then she would get a substantial share of whatever he leaves.

If he doesn’t have a wife, and only have one child, then everything would go to your son. You would get nothing. The law does not recognise a common-law relationship.

You may be entitled to some money from the house even though it is in his sole name, if you can prove that you contributed towards it. If you didn’t contribute to the fabric of the house or anything of any substantial value, then you have little claim.

If however, you had paid for the kitchen or improvements or suchlike, but it does give you a more substantial claim. Other than that, you don’t acquire a right to a share of the property just because you have been together for a protracted period of time.

If he had promised you the house if you stuck together with him, you may have a claim in Promissory Estoppel which is a technical legal doctrine where you can enforce the promise if you can prove the promise was made and that you relied on it to your detriment. You don’t mention that here.

You are both under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until aged 18 and hence, it’s unlikely that he would be able to get you out of the house (depending on the value of it), if you did split up, for another 3 years because of the need to provide a home for your son.

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We can still exchange emails if anything needs clarification.

Best wishes.

FES.

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