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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34908
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hello, My situation is that me and my partner of 10 years

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My situation is that me and my partner of 10 years are separating. We have two children aged 2 and 7.
Because of some previous bad debt, I was unable to obtain credit in my name, therefore the two houses we own are in my partners name.
We have two properties:
(Rented Out at £575 p/m) Chester Le Street - Purchased £118,750, owed £92,000 - valued £99,000-£102,000
(Family Home) Darlington - Purchased £159,000, owed £100,000 - valued £175,000
We currently have the following 'shared' debt:
Credit Card (My Name): £790 balance
Furniture (My Name): £700 balance
Credit Card (Partners Name): £2,000 balance
Store Card (Partners Name): £2,000 balance
Joint Account Overdraft: £2,500 balance
We also have the following vehicles:
My Car: £500 p/m Personal Lease
Partners Car: £550 p/m Business Lease
My partner is a Nurse and I am the MD of a company I founded 3 years ago.
I have a few questions which I would like some advice / guidance with.
I hear many stories regarding Common-Law Marriages and the rights it gives someone over the others belongings, what is the actual legal rights for a couple living together for 10 years?
Will my Partner be entitled to any of my business? If so, what % would I be looking at having to give up?
Upon leaving, I intend to pay off all the shared debt. I have no intention of demanding the sale of or removing anything from the family home that will affect my children's quality of life (furniture, hardware, food etc), but where do I stand legally with the property in Chester Le Street, my name is ***** ***** either mortgage.
I plan to allow my Partner to use the vehicle leased through my business for the duration of it's contract (2 1/2 years remaining) which will be paid for by my business, after which she would have to purchase her own vehicle. I believe this is fair?
Okay, now questions relating to my Children. My partner has threatened in the past to 'vanish' with my kids in Turkey where she spends a lot of time. Is there a way I can prevent her taking my children out of the country without my permission?
What rights do I have over the custody of my children? What kind of arrangement would I likely get in terms of number of days per week for example?
Despite me offering the above, I believe my partner will likely make things as awkward as possible and demand more than she is entitled to, which is why I am seeking advice today.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are you named on the Birth Certificates?
Who will have the day to day care of the children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes, we are both on the birth certificates of our children. My partner is a fully qualified Nurse therefore a professional and a decent mother, therefore I doubt I would win any custody battle and get full day to day care, but I would hope I can see them 3 - 4 days per week but I guess their main residence would be the family home, with their mother.

Thank you,


Did you protect your investment in the properties with Declarations of Trust
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

No. To be honest, I am not overly concerned with the properties. I just want to ensure the business remains mine, I have access to the kids and she can't leave the country with them without me knowing/authorising.



Since you are married your ex has no claim on assets which she has not contributed to - so your business is safe.
Since you have Parental Responsibility for the children your ex cannot remove them from the UK without your consent or an Order from the Court
The law says that children are entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary.
Parents are expected to reach agreement as to how to share the care of their children - using Family mediation ( if necessary
Alternate weekends plus one night a week and half the school holidays is not an usual pattern.
With regard to the houses the position is more complex although since you can prove your financial contribution you do have a claim on the properties - although this is also better dealt with in mediation
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare. I'll come back to you if i require any further advice.

That is fine - I hope all goes well