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Check List: Your Legal Rights When a Relationship Ends

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 3 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Check List: Your Legal Rights When A Relationship Ends

The end of a relationship is never a fun time but as well as the emotional fallout to deal with there are always a lot pf practical issues to address. Knowing your rights is the first step to making sure that you end up with what you deserve out of the relationship. Follow our checklist to make sure that have considered all the important areas of your life which may be affected by the split.

1. Housing

One of the most difficult things to deal when you split from your partner is where you are going to live. The first thing to think about is your immediate plans and deciding who will remain in the house. After this you need to consider selling. If you are married or have joint ownership of the home then your lawyer will help you arrange a fair deal. However, if you have been cohabiting but the house is in your partner’s name, even if you have been paying towards the mortgage, you do not have any rights on the home.

2. Money

When you are living together all the expenses are split so it can be a shock to the system when you need to afford to live alone. If you have joint assets then you need to make sure that it is split fairly. If both of your names are on the accounts then it should be split evenly but if you have been using your partner’s account, or they were the sole earner, then you will need to consult your lawyer. You will have a stronger case if you are married.

3. Debts

If you have any outstanding debts with your partner then you need to work out how you are both going to continue paying them. If they are joint then you will still be liable for the full amount if your partner stops paying.

4. Children

Ending a relationship is always more difficult when children are involved and you need to put them first in all your decisions. If your partner has parental responsibility then they will have rights to visitation and also need to pay child support. Both parents need to be involved in finding a custody agreement that is best suitable.

5. Wills

It is important that you put a will in place in case you or your partner passes away. If you are married then any assets will automatically pass to your partner but if you are cohabiting then you do not have legal rights unless they are laid out in a will.

The best thing is to make sure that your rights are protected before your relationship ends. Put a will in place, know where your money is and in what name and understand whether you have rights to any property. When your relationship does come to an end, seek the advice of a lawyer and make sure that you can use your knowledge to cover all areas of your life. If you have children it is even more important that you and them are provided for.

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Tina - Your Question:
My sons fiancé has had my son evicted from her home. Giving no reason. As he had moved in with her it is Her name only in the mortgage. They had been together for 11 years and have an eight year old daughter. Over the years he has paid regular , large amounts into her bank account to help with Mortgage. He also paid a lot of utility bills. He has old bank statements showing this. Has he any rights financially. The house is now worth twice as much as ten years ago, due to links into London

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here . The only way your son may be able to claim long-term rights to the property is if he is able to show he has a 'beneficial interest' in it via contributions he has made towards the home. However, this usually has to take the form of paid renovations or refurbishment where your son has put in a significant amount of money. Helping with the mortgage or bills can be seen as helping with his own/child's day-to-day living expenses, which can be viewed as something your son would have to pay regardless and therefore wouldn't be considered as fundamental towards splitting the house. Likewise, if he and his ex have a child together and his ex is the day-to-day primary carer of their child, then no court would force a sale to pay your son out. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Your son may wish to seek legal advice to see whether he may have a claim due to the appreciation in value of the house, especially if he has played a part in helping towards this.
RelationshipExpert - 4-Jan-18 @ 11:24 AM
My sons fiancé has had my son evicted from her home. Giving no reason. As he had moved in with her it is Her name only in the mortgage.They had been together for 11 years and have an eight year old daughter. Over the years he has paid regular , large amounts into her bank account to help with Mortgage. He also paid a lot of utility bills.He has old bank statements showing this.Has he any rights financially.The house is now worth twice as much as ten years ago, due to links into London
Tina - 3-Jan-18 @ 4:34 PM
Unknown- Your Question:
My ex partner and I split up after a 10 year relationship because she cheated on me. We have 2 children together who are still at full time school. She is still living in our house with the children and I'm currently staying with a friend. Both our names are on the mortgage for the house. We also have joint ownership of a limited company but she does not work. It's the money that I earn that pays for all the bills and the mortgage. I would like to get a place of my own, however due to being self employed, no mortgage company will allow me a second mortgage. She is refusing to sell the house but cannot contribute to the bills or mortgage. Where do I stand?

Our Response:
If your ex is refusing to sell, it is unlikely a court will force her to sell until your children have left full-time education. You may wish to seek legal/financial advice regarding this if you wish to find out what your best options are under the present circumstances.
RelationshipExpert - 22-May-17 @ 11:58 AM
My ex partner and I split up after a 10 year relationship because she cheated on me. We have 2 children together who are still at full time school. She is still living in our house with the children and I'm currently staying with a friend. Both our names are on the mortgage for the house. We also have joint ownership of a limited company but she does not work. It's the money that I earn that pays for all the bills and the mortgage. I would like to get a place of my own, however due to being self employed, no mortgage company will allow me a second mortgage. She is refusing to sell the house but cannot contribute to the bills or mortgage. Where do I stand?
Unknown - 21-May-17 @ 5:24 PM
Thank you very much for your advice and such a prompt and helpful reply. Kind regards, Chris
Chris - 12-Apr-16 @ 3:17 PM
Chris - Your Question:
Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me where I stand with my partner, we have been living together for nearly 6 years and things aren't working out. I want to end the relationship but I'm very worried about what my partner is entitled to claim from me. In brief, I own the house outright in my name, with no mortgage and the only money I receive from my partner is half the monthly bills. I have money in savings that was awarded to me from the courts from an accident and is by way of personal compensation and future care, but was only awarded to me. We have no children and separate bank accounts and we are not married?

Our Response:
You can see more by the CAB article; Living together and marriage: legal differences, here. As a general rule unless you have children together then neither partner has a legal duty to support the other financially after a relationship break up and what you own in assets is fundamentally your own.
RelationshipExpert - 12-Apr-16 @ 10:24 AM
Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me where I stand with my partner, we have been living together for nearly 6 years and things aren't working out. I want to end the relationship but I'm very worried about what my partner is entitled to claim from me. In brief, I own the house outright in my name, with no mortgage and the only money I receive from my partner is half the monthly bills. I have money in savings that was awarded to me from the courts from an accident and is by way of personal compensation and future care, but was only awarded to me. We have no children and separate bank accounts and we are not married?
Chris - 11-Apr-16 @ 9:50 AM
@jan, nothing changes with the house just because he's had an affair. The mortgage is in both names and you will have to come to an agreement between yourselves as to who is going to live there or if you're going to sell it. Good luck
frey - 24-Sep-14 @ 9:44 AM
We have been cohabiting both our names are on the mortgage yet he's been having an affair how do I stand with the house?
jan - 23-Sep-14 @ 10:07 PM
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