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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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not legally married split.

Customer Question

My partner and I are splitting up after 14 years together together. We had our own humanist wedding ceremony 5 years ago but have never officially been married. We have been living together for the last 10 years but have no children. I recently left my well paid job as a professional ballet dancer to try and have a family together. I now have no income and we separating am I entitled to anything other than the money I have put into our shared house?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

Unfortunately regardless of whatever ceremony you chose to have, unless your marriage has been recognised as valid in the UK, you cannot use matrimoinal legislation only available to married couples who divorce, which allows the family court to make binding court orders on what the court deems is a "fair" divsion of the matrimonial assets (which can include non-property assets such as pensions and savings). For cohabiting couples who separate, there is only strict property law to rely on, which is much narrower.

The only assets that you can have a claim against will be any property in which you have a financial interest, or a legal interest that is clear on the transfer document when the property when it was purchased.

If you can agree what that sum is, that will be quicker and cheaper than making an application to court - but if as a last resort, you do decide to apply to court, you will need to make your application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. The court now requires that the parties have attempted mediation before an application to court will be considered. Although it's a civil case rather than a family law case, I would suggest going to a family mediator as it's not a commercial dispute.

Here's where to find a mediator local to you:-

You would also benefit from some face-to-face legal advice on how to assess exactly what your claim against the property is worth. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:-

I hope this helps!

thanks and best wishes.
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello again

I see that you have read my answer but not accepted it. Is there anythjng in your question that you feel that I did noit answer? or anythng in my answer that needs further clarification? Please let me know - I'll do my best!