Money & Property Issues for Unmarried Couples

It is increasingly common for people to now be living together as a couple without being married.  When such relationships come to an end many unmarried couples are surprised to find that they do not have automatically the right to a share in each other’s finances and property on separation. Another significant difference is that there is no entitlement for one party to obtain maintenance from the other.

The Court will take into account important issues such as who paid towards the deposit of the property, mortgage payments, substantial improvements to the property and how the parties have conducted themselves with regards to acquiring a financial interest in that property.  Sometimes a non-owner of a property, on  the basis that they have been led to believe that they will have a beneficial interest in the same will acquire an interest in their property.

Money & Property Disputes

Where parties are unmarried, generally speaking they will retain any money and property in their own name, unless some form of trust can be established or the case fulfils the criteria for applications under the Children Act, for the benefit of dependent children.

It is important to consider when property is owned in joint names, who has made the mortgage payments or any other significant capital payments. Unless you have reached a prior agreement there is an assumption of equality.

If a property is owned in joint names there will be an assumption that you are joint tenants (unless you have agreed otherwise and opted to be tenants in common, or any other agreement under a Trust Deed). Each party will have equal shares, rights and obligations within that property.

Money & Property Solicitors

These types of disputes can be extremely complex.  Our specialist Family Law Solicitors, who have many years of experience in assisting unmarried couples, will be able to provide you with expert advice. They can be contacted on 0844 800 9860 or alternatively, please contact them online.

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