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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My ex partner (we wasnt married) & I have a joint mortgage

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My ex partner (we wasn't married) & I have a joint mortgage for our house where I live with our son, the relationship broke down 12 years ago but I have stayed in the family home with our son & he continued to pay the mortgage as part of the maintenance. He now wants us to sell the property as our son is 18 now & will be leaving to go
To university September. I have paid all the bills & maintained the property for the last 12 years, my question is would I be entitled to more than half the equity in the property as our son would still come & stay with me when home from uni? Or generally where do I stand now as I know things change when your children reach a certain age?
Thank you.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if you entered into any form of declaration of trust in relation to the property when you purchased it please? This would have been a formal agreement as to your respective shares

Customer: No I don't think so
Joshua :

Thanks. Did you contribute towards the property equally in terms of deposit or mortgage payments or have contributions been unequal between you roughly?

Customer: Yes as we have had 2 houses previously together. As I said he has paid the mortgage & I have paid for the bills & all work that has been done on the property
Joshua :

Thank you for the clarification - it wasn't clear to me whether he had paid the mortgage on his own or jointly with you from your original post. From what you say he has paid this on his own. Is this a capital repayment or interest only mortgage?

Customer: Capital repayment
Joshua :

Thanks. Finally, have you made any improvements in relation to the property such as extensions or internal improvements like new bathrooms etc?

Customer: Yes I've had new bathroom & en-suite
Customer: And had the whole house decorated
Joshua :

Thanks If your partner is a joint owner of your property and you did not enter in to a declaration of trust or have any other evidence to show how you agreed to own the property, then the recent decision in the case of Kernott makes it quite clear the starting point for ownership is 50% / 50% in terms of shares in the property. The burden of proof will be upon the person wishing to shift from this starting point as to why they are entitled to a greater share.

Joshua :

Your ex partner has in his favour the fat that he has made capital repayments on the mortgage since you split up. This would go to his credit in terms of potentially seeking a greater share of the property over and above 50%. In your favour you have the fact that you have presumably maintained the property and made some improvements.

Joshua :

Up until the point your son reached the age of 18 you could have made an application under the Childrens Act in relation to the property but this is not possible after your son reaches the age of 18. However your son could if he is continuing education make an application against your ex partner for continuing maintenance from your ex partner

Customer: So it makes no difference our son is still in education & my ex partner earns a lot more than myself?
Customer: How would my son go about that
Joshua :

The court can order for example a lump sum to be paid by your ex partner to your son for his benefit or continuing maintenance. If your ex earns significantly more than you this will be taken into account by a court in your sons favour. Consideration can be given to your sons needs including his accomodation needs at home when calculating maintenance. Accordingly this is something worth considering if your ex is shying away from continuing support for your son.

Customer: Thank you!
Joshua :

A pleasure. Initially consider opening a discussion with your ex partner unless you consider that such a discussion would be pointless. Sometimes agreement can be reached between you without the need for court proceedings with or without mediation.

Customer: Yes I will now I know more!
Joshua :

If it is necessary to proceed with an application on the part of your son for continuing maintenance consider making an appointment with your son with a local solicitor that specialises in this area. You an find local specialists via the following link and many will offer a free initial consultation:

Joshua :

Joshua :

They can assist with any applications that you decide with your son to make and if your partner earns significantly more than you, costs in respect of legal fees can be sought

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer: So if we were to sell this property & get 50 50 each out if it, he wouldn't have to
Customer: provide anymore maintenance to me for our son, our son would have to claim himself for it?
Joshua :

Once a child reaches the age of 18 unless you have a court order for maintenance which provides otherwise, then his maintenance obligations stop. However, yes your son still has a right to make an application in his own right (which of course you can support him with as can a solicitor) for continuing maintenance under the Childrens Act if he intends to go on to further education. The court can make a variety of orders to enable continuing support and will have regard to your ex partners income and the financial needs of your son in making such determinations.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer: No that's all thank you!
Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer: Ok how can I get back in contact with you?
Joshua :

You can either return to this thread or you can contact me by bookmarking my profile (below)

Joshua :

Customer: Ok thank you! I may be back in touch!
Joshua :

Best wishes

Customer: Bye
Joshua :

Good bye

Joshua :

I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today before you go.

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