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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17265
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I'm wondering what kind of rights I have in terms of if me

Customer Question

Hello, I'm wondering what kind of rights I have in terms of if me and my partner split? Our assets (House) is in his name as at the time (stupidly) I agreed to only apply for the mortgage in his name as I wasn't working due to having a baby, and my credit wasn't the best. We are not married but we have a child together. Many thanks
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: no
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Hampshire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online becauseyou will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

do you have any agreement as in joint or tenants in common?

are you named on mortgage?

what was the agreement between you as to the property?

how old is the child?

what is your contribution to the property?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hello,No I am on the mortgage as living with him in the property but that is about it.
Our child is now 3.
No contribution now, I contributed to household groceries, childrens clothes, lesisure days out etc etc when I was in my previous self employed role (Part time) and now we have a business together which is in its infancy and currently only cashflowing a small amount which we arent paying ourselves.
We are living off of the money he made from selling his business (which I was heavily involved with but never paid!)
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

You may or may not have a financial interest in the property depending on what contributions you made to it. Even indirect contributions can be taken into account such as food and bills et cetera but they are not as persuasive in pursuing a claim as direct contributions such as mortgage and repairs. The only time indirect contributions are taken into account would be if the person who owned the property would not have been able to afford it without your input.

So you may or may not have a financial interest in the property.

BUT you have a dependent child and you are both under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18 and therefore, there is a good possibility that you would be able to stay in the property until the child reaches 18 if you are going to be the main carer of the child which it appears you have been until now.

You would however be liable to pay an occupational rent in respect of your occupation of the property in his name.

If the child lives with you then you would be eligible for child maintenance at the CMS rates which are here

Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.

Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.

There is no liability for spousal maintenance because you are not married.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

You don’t need to do it on this thread, just a new thread. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hello, thank you for the clarification. Would all of the above change if we were married?Many thanks
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

Almost certainly yes.

The starting point for the division of marital finances is 50-50 and it is then adjusted up or down, one way or the other, in favour of one partner or the other depending on what the individuals put in at outset, the length of marriage and the time together before marriage, the needs of the individuals after the divorce, what savings, assets, pensions et cetera there are and also the ability of each person to work after the breakup.

The time which a couple are together before they get married will be taken into account because it would be grossly unfair if someone had been together for 30 years and then split up after being married for 12 months to have the finances treated in the same way as a couple who had got married not long after they met and were then divorcing after just 12 months.

It’s largely a mathematical thing but does look at needs after divorce.

Even if everything is being divided down the middle, it’s not really a case of dividing it down the middle, all the assets wouldn’t be split 50-50 but the bulk would be 50-50 and therefore one person may keep the house and the other for example could have the savings and the pensions.