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Unmarried Partner Property Disputes

If you own a property with a partner and are not married, resolving the property ownership can become very complex if your relationship breaks down and you do not have a formal agreement (cohabitation agreement), in place.

What happens if you are unmarried and own a property together, and your relationship ends?

If the property is in your joint names, even if you have made little contribution to its purchase or the mortgage or maintenance, you will be entitled to a half share.

If you are not the legal or beneficial owner of the property, that is you are not mentioned on the deeds or the mortgage or in any trust document but have been promised a share of the property by your partner (especially if this is in writing) then you would be entitled to at least the amount your partner promised you providing there is evidence of this agreement.

Financial Contribution

If you have contributed to the purchase of the property or the mortgage or maintenance or there is evidence of a direct financial contribution you may have a claim especially if you have done something to your detriment, that is if you have acted in a way that has imposed a burden upon you, for example, carrying out major works at the property or paid substantial bills or mortgage payments.

Children under 18

If you are parents of children under the age of 18 who are living in the property, and there is no alternative accommodation and you have decided to separate, it may be that one parent and the child or children may be permitted to occupy the property until the children are adults. In these special circumstances the other parent could be excluded from his, or her, own property.

Case Study

Read our Case Study about a property which a couple jointly occupied but was registered in the name of just one of them - UNMARRIED COUPLES AND PROPERTY DISPUTES

How we can help

This can be a complex area of law, so please get in touch with the family law team for advice.

Need to talk to a Family Lawyer?

Unmarried Partner Property Disputes
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Emily has supported me through a divorce with excellent advice and guidance at every stage. All issues and options were explained clearly and fully. Possible outcomes were fully outlined to me throughout the process. Emily's professionalism has been of the highest standard. The kind and understanding manner in which Emily has supported me at all stages of the process is something that I am extremely grateful for. I literally felt the pressure shift from my shoulders. This is why I give 5 stars for the assistance I received.
Beth Woodward
Partner and Head of Divorce and Family Law
Heidi Fleming
Senior Associate - Divorce and Family Law
Tina Shah
Senior Associate - Divorce and Family Law
Emily Pope
Associate - Divorce and Family Law
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