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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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Hi, I have recently split with my partner of 7 years. When

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Hi, I have recently split with my partner of 7 years. When I met her she was going through a divorce, the house was awarded to her in the divorce settlement, but she could not afford the mortgage so I agreed we purchase together, so she could keep it and I was investing in property and not paying somebody rent. We paid the mortgage 50/50, at that time she worked 1/2 day so I paid 2/3 of the bills. I supported her and her 2 children, 14 and 9 at the time, she got no support from her husband. In the past 2 years she has had full time work so the bills were split 50/50 but I still paid, car insurance for her car, road tax, service, home insurance.
Now we have split what are my rights where the house is to be split, 50/50 or does she have more rights as past owner?
Hello and thanks for your question

I need a bit more information to be able to answer:

Can you just confirm that you and your ex-partner were NOT married (just to make sure I've understood you correctly)
Whose name(s) is/are on the title deeds of the house?
Whose name(s) is/are on the mortgage deed?
If both your names are XXXXX XXXXX title deeds, at the time you purchased the house together or at any time after that, did you both sign a deed of trust or any other document which stated exactly what each of your shares were? eg 50:50, 60:40, 70:30 etc. - and if so, what is your share stated to be?
What income do each of you have now?
How much is the house worth now and how much is the mortgage outstanding on it?
Apart from paying half the mortgage over the years, did you put any other money into the house eg a contribition to the purchase price? or pay for improvements such as new kitchen or bathroom?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Not married

Title deeds in both our names

Mortgage in both names

Did not sign any document stating shares, was not offered to us

We both work, have full time jobs,my income is significantly more than hers

House valued @ £145,000

Mortgage outstanding £91,000

I redecorated the whole house myself, my time and labour

I bought a new fridge, washing machine, double bed to replace broken before I purchased the house

Bought new leather sofas since house purchase

At the time of purchase as she was the owner, value £85,000, mortgage £67,000 which she could not pay and would have had to sell and lost the house, so I helped keep a roof over her and children's heads

Most of the improvements, i.e. kitchen, bathroom, carpets were paid from additional mortgage, the value of which she could not get on her income.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
The expert answered with a number of questions which I have answered and now have no reply
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...

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