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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12974
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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In a separation of unmarried couples with 2 children (5&

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In a separation of unmarried couples with 2 children (5& 3years old) are there specific laws around financial aspects. We have a mortgage together. I received some money from my Dad as inheritance (sort of, he’s still alive)... does the ex get half!? I put a lot more into the house (£40k deposit from a flat sale, & added extras to reduce the term & ultimately cost of the house)
Also. As my monthly earnings would not cover the outgoings on the house I could not afford it. The ex knows this & wonders about buying another property, adding it to the existing mortgage & extending the term of the loan - but the kids stay in the house.... any advice on my rights!?

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland. The law as it concerns cohabitants who are unmarried is contained in the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1986. Your ex is entitled to none of the money gifts to you by your dad. If the house is owned jointly, the norm would be that each of you would be entitled to an equal share. However, if you have contributed more this puts you at a disadvantage and you could claim a capital payment from your ex using section 28 of the Act. If nothing can be agreed, your claim would have to submitted to the court within a year of your separation. I’m not sure what your ex’s proposal is about buying another house and adding it to the mortgage and extending the term but it doesn’t sound like a very good idea. Happy to discuss further if you can explain this a little more. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you,
I’m not sure HE even know what the idea is/was. He’s really struggling with this. He is the higher earner, yet feels he has nothing & he is going to be hard done by. His job is off shore, so he is away 3 weeks and back 3 weeks. But he does earn double my pay. I, however feel unable to work more than my 3 days a week due to subsequent childcare costs. I think he feels he’ll now have to pay for two mortgages somehow, & the only way may be to extend the term. I feel we would be best being completely separate, but do feel I’d need financial support month to month, to keep the house. Or else I use my inheritance & buy him out. But once that’s gone it’s gone, & if I can’t afford to actually run the house then I’d be in trouble. Can you offer any suggestions!? What does he have to pay in support of the kids? Could this go to household payments too!?
Any suggestions on childcare given that he works away. He was wanting to have them 3 weeks, then I have them 3!? That to me is way too much time for the boys to be away from me!? They need some continuity. I’ve been their 100% parent...

Child maintenance would be based on his gross salary. It would also take into account the number of nights per year he takes the boys. Can’t you tell me his gross earnings? The main issue is to make sure all of you have a home. Can you give me some values? House, mortgage, how much cash each of you have etc. I will take this up in the morning.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He earns £55k, I earn (£29k) part time about £13 (after childcare vouchers come off about £1k a month).
The house is maybe worth £200k. There’s £135k left to pay over the next 11 years.
I’m 42 & don’t really want to extend this term if I can avoid it.
Monthly outgoings I think are around £2k
I’ve put £60k into the house as deposit, & an additional payment as mentioned.
I have maybe £40k savings in various ISAs. & have been gifted a lot of shares (fluctuating but worth maybe £80k)
From what he says, he doesn’t have any savings, but since he was not planning on working more than another 10 years he’s not telling me everything.

Child maintenance would be about £113 per week were he to see the children overnight for 2-3 nights. If it was more or less than that the maintenance figure would vary.

As you are not married you would each keep your respective savings and you would be entitled to credit for the money you've put into the house.