*

Unmarried Partner Property Disputes

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.

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

Mary McEvoy
Partner and Head of Divorce and Family Law and Notary Public
Beth Woodward
Partner - Divorce and Family Law
Layla Qureshi
Trainee Solicitor
Iain MacAskill
Solicitor - Family Law