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Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Is My Ex Entitled To A Percentage Of The House?

Q.

I have recently split with my partner after 5 years, we were not married, have 2 children and a mortgage that is solely in my name. I have worked throughout the relationship and been the only financial provider for the family.

She has not worked or contributed in any way. She chose to leave the house and take our 2 children to live on benefits in a council house. I have a feeling she is about to try to take a % of my house, is she entitled to any of it?

(Mr Rob Simpson, 25 November 2008)

A.

Many couples choose to live together without getting married and this is often referred to as ‘common law marriage’. However, this term is not recognized by law and does not hold any of the same rights as a legal marriage, however long you have been together. Many people believe that they are entitled to a percentage of their partner’s assets but this is not true. This is good news for you!

If the mortgage is solely in your name and you did not have any formal cohabitation or rental agreement with your partner then she is not entitled to claim any of your house. You say that you have been the sole provider, but even if your partner had been making financial contributions, unless her name is on the deeds, it’s all yours. She may still try to make a claim but the law is on your side and she is unlikely to have a case.

Having said that, you have two children together and you need to think about their welfare too. You will have to, by law, pay child maintenance to your partner but you may want to think about what else you could contribute to make your children’s lives better. It is understandable that you will feel angry towards your partner, and she has made her own choices, but this should not impact on your children’s lives.

Try to remain as civil as possible with their mother and come to an arrangement about custody and child support. If you cannot work this out together then there are a lot of liaison services available that will help you or you can take it through the courts.

You may also want to think about making a will so that your children are guaranteed to inherit your property if anything may happen to you. You can state that they don’t receive any of it until a certain age, or assign a executor so that your ex-partner doesn’t try to get hold of it.

Whatever you decide to do, your home is all yours but make sure that your children remain your priority and that they are protected, both financially and emotionally.

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Please can you help.My Mother left my Father 30 years ago. A few months before she left she encouraged my Father to buy the council house they were then living in.She left for another man. My Mother has Been married twice since and had two other properties.My Mother didn't contribute in any way towards upkeep of my Fathers house,re double glazing ,etc. Paid not a penny to mortgage or deposit forMorgage.She now wants half the equity in the house.Her name is on deeds.Can we go to court to put claims in for Morgage payments she never contributed to or house repair costs over the past 30 years. Can a judge over rule a 50/50 split.This is so unfair.
Steff - 21-Feb-18 @ 11:41 AM
Hi. I have just remortgaged my house to get my ex partners name off and buy the equity (was shared equity 75/20). We were together for 10 years but only in this house for 2.5 years. We split up 10 years ago and I have been paying the mortgage and paying money to the equity loan until I could sort a mortgage in my name to remove his name and buy the equity. At the time we agreed I keep the house and the joint debt of £20K. I have been paying the mortgage, equity loans and the joint debt payments and he has not made any contribution since we split up. Now I have a mortgage offer to get him off and buy the equity and pay off the joint debt, is my ex entitled to anything?
Looie - 10-Feb-18 @ 10:01 AM
Pinkstar - Your Question:
Hello, looking for some advice. I had a claim and got a lot of money, I paid for my house outright and was so in love that I put my girlfriend on the deeds. We have 3 children together and she has been having an affair and left me. She never contributed anything to the buying of the house or even bills. She is now “taking me to the cleaners” and wants half (even though in my head I don’t think she’s intitled to anything. Please can someone advise?

Our Response:
If your partner is on the deeds and you have three children together, then she does and will be entitled to claim.
RelationshipExpert - 9-Feb-18 @ 3:09 PM
Dons - Your Question:
I live in my property which is mortgaged and my ex husband moved out 6 and a half years ago. Since then he has paid nothing towards the house and I was told that he would be entitled to half of what the house was worth at the time of leaving the property. He is now saying that he wants half of what it is worth now because it is a substantial about and he deserves it, even though he has paid nothing for over 6 years and is in debt. My new husband lives with me and has done for 4 years and helps towards the bills. Is my ex entitled to half as the property is now worth double than it was when he left?

Our Response:
Much depends upon how long your marriage was and whether there are children involved. You don't give much information regarding whether you owned the house prior to marriage (you say 'my' property), or how long you lived in the house with your ex, all of which would make a difference. However, there are no real rules. If you cannot agree between yourselves, or via mediation, then the next option is court. You can see how the court splits assets via the link here. However, it is always recommended to avoid court unless necessary as the court costs and legal fees can suck up any equity benefits pretty quickly. Therefore, if you cannot agree between you, mediation is the next option to consider.
RelationshipExpert - 9-Feb-18 @ 10:30 AM
I live in my property which is mortgaged and my ex husband moved out 6 and a half years ago.Since then he has paid nothing towards the house and I was told that he would be entitled to half of what the house was worth at the time of leaving the property.He is now saying that he wants half of what it is worth now because it is a substantial about and he deserves it, even though he has paid nothing for over 6 years and is in debt.My new husband lives with me and has done for 4 years and helps towards the bills.Is my ex entitled to half as the property is now worth double than it was when he left?
Dons - 8-Feb-18 @ 2:23 PM
@Trace - I'd tell him to take you to court. It'll probably cost more in fees to do that. I'd also seek some legal guidance - he may be entitled to a small claim, but not too much as the marriage was short.
EllaN - 2-Feb-18 @ 2:06 PM
Can someone help....i met my first husband in 1984....married 1986....had a 15yr mortgage which was paid infull in 2001.We split shortly before this....he signed the house to me and the deeds were put in my name.....i met my second husband in nov 2010....married in dec 2011.....he left in april 2017 and now wants 50% from the profit my house has made since he moved in.......is he entitled?
Trace - 31-Jan-18 @ 6:08 PM
Hello, looking for some advice. I had a claim and got a lot of money, I paid for my house outright and was so in love that I put my girlfriend on the deeds. We have 3 children together and she has been having an affair and left me. She never contributed anything to the buying of the house or even bills. She is now “taking me to the cleaners” and wants half (even though in my head I don’t think she’s intitled to anything. Please can someone advise?
Pinkstar - 30-Jan-18 @ 6:59 PM
I own a house out right and bought a second. My girlfriend moved in after two month of my mortgage started. I pay everything but if we split do I have to move out?? I want the best for my son and if we split I don't have anywhere to go.
Phill - 29-Jan-18 @ 5:11 PM
@Vickster - the conditions of the divorce have nothing to do with her own current or financial position- these are two separate issues. Some ex would push for the house sale in order to get the money. It sounds to me as though she is being pretty generous in not forcing the issue. That's the way I see it anyway.
FranC - 25-Jan-18 @ 3:31 PM
Hi I’m after some advice. When I met my Fiancé 4 years ago he had just got divorced (his wife had an affair), she moved out of their home and let him with their 2 teenage Sons. My Fiancé paid her a lump sum but still owes her money which she would receive on the following condition, either when the youngest turns 18 or if my Fiancé should move someone in, now the thing is my fiancé’s youngest is now 19 and we have been waiting for the past year for her to say the property is to be sold but we didn’t want this hanging over us so my fiancé contacted his ex wife and she said so long as he had the two boys there (19 & 24) and lives on his own she won’t make him sell the house but she has just bought a house and moved in with her boyfriend, it seems so unfair that she has us ‘trapped’ and she can move on! If we sell the house we will be struggling to buy another one, surely if she has now bought a house and moved on with her boyfriend the conditions of their divorce should no longer apply. Has anyone been in the same boat? We just want to live together properly!
Vickster - 23-Jan-18 @ 4:30 PM
Hi I need some advise, I brought my house over a year ago. I put my ex girl friends name on the mortgage as needed the extra earnings she earned to get the mortgage. I paid all of the deposit with the help of my family and also the stamp duty which she burrowed £2300 from her parents which is her only contribution towards the house and ever since I brought the house been paying for everything mortgage all bills I brought all the furniture and took credit out and loan on my name for anything else we needed. Which I jhave been paying all by myself. We have 2 children and she worked in the evenings whilsts I looked after the children whilst she worked and even though she earned money I still paid for everything even her car insurance. She stayed at the house but as I didnt have any money to pay for anything else as I was paying for us to stay a float just having enough left over to pay for food shopping and things for my children. She left me and took my children to Germany and said she wasn't coming back. I didnt have money for a solicitor so was taking free legal advise and then had to consent for her to have my children in Germany and she would sign over the house to me. Tjhe court order only stated she have consent from me to have the children in Germany and I can see them in Germany, but as I didnt have enough money I couldnt see my children and I got out a credit card to pay for her flights and hotel for the children to visit in UK. Which was also on the court in the UK. She also wrote me a text mesage saying she only wants the children and won't stop me from seeing the children and I can have the house. Then she stopped me from seeing the children via video calls and didn't come to the UK and made some excuse she couldnt take time out work. Then said her brother would come so I paid the extra to transfer the ticket to his name and then he didnt come I lost £800 on that and havent seen my children. So I started a haig return order which then because of the consent I was advised it would be hard to then I went for contact order and after 8 hard months I worked two job to get enough money to pay off my debt some loans my credit cards. I last week got contact to my children and also found an incredible women. So I am in a good place and now I have access to my daughters. I am really happy, I even offered money and brought the children a load of toys clothes and offered to give the mother 200 euros a month to buy the girls some nice food shopping and anything else they need. Which she refused to accept but as the courts in Germany have granted me access to my children she is not happy and last week as she found out I have had a new partner since April she is now demanding half of my house as her name is on the deeds and my new partner has been living with me for 3 months now and has been helping out on the house bills as has my brother since my ex left. So in summary she verbally and texted me that she would sign the house over to me if I gav
Billy - 21-Jan-18 @ 6:36 PM
Bluestone - Your Question:
I have been divorced but I paid all the mortgage for five more years then half of it for about 18 years. The children are all grown up. What can I do now about the house and my share?

Our Response:
You would have to try to negotiate this with your ex. If neither of you can agree on a solution, then you could try mediation, or seek legal advice about taking the matter to court.
RelationshipExpert - 18-Jan-18 @ 3:22 PM
I have been divorced but I paid all the mortgage for five more years then half of it for about 18 years. The children are all grown up. What can I do now about the house and my share?
Bluestone - 16-Jan-18 @ 11:55 PM
Kal - Your Question:
Hi there , wanted to ask question I was married for 10 years with my ex husband we have split for 6 years now I have 4 kids with him I have heard he has bought a house now do the kids have there share please need advice thanks

Our Response:
I don't quite know what you mean by 'do the kids have their share?' You would have to give more information as your question is not clear. If your ex has bought the house out of his own money which he has earned since your divorce, then it is up to him what he decides to do with the house. If he leaves a will (should anything happen to him - then it is up to him who he leaves his property to). The only claim you personally may have is if he has used money that might be from your joint marital pot (which has not been fairly split between you and him).
RelationshipExpert - 16-Jan-18 @ 10:49 AM
I bought my house with my first husband in april 1986....we split in 2000...my mortgage was paid in full in april 2001. I met my second husband in nov 2010....married in dec 2011. He left me in april 2017. He now wants 50%of the profit in my house increase since 2011 - 2017....is this legal
Trace - 16-Jan-18 @ 7:51 AM
Hi there , wanted to ask question I was married for 10 years with my ex husband we have split for 6 years now I have 4 kids with him I have heard he has bought a house now do the kids have there share please need advice thanks
Kal - 15-Jan-18 @ 7:33 PM
Inday- Your Question:
Hi there just want to ask , I live in the uk for 10 years got married with a British guy for 6 months , I plead domestic violence. his been in prison for 2 and half years for other reason. And I started seeing someone else, but then I never went back to him and move to north east. Now I’m going to apply for a divorce I have the custody of my son he is 9. I want to ask if am I still entitled to half of the our house? Pls any advice would help thank you.

Our Response:
Much depends upon who bought the house, whether the house was jointly owned, or in your ex's name and whether there is any equity in the house, so you would need to give more detail. You can also see more via the CAB link here .
RelationshipExpert - 9-Jan-18 @ 10:53 AM
Hi there just want to ask , I live in the uk for 10 years got married with a British guy for 6 months , I plead domestic violence ... his been in prison for 2 and half years for other reason . And I started seeing someone else, but then I never went back to him and move to north east. Now I’m going to apply for a divorce I have the custody of my son he is 9 . I want to ask if am I still entitled to half of the our house? Pls any advice would help thank you .
Inday - 8-Jan-18 @ 1:15 PM
I'velived with my husband for 5 years,and married for 2 years, he owns 50% of the house, both sons 25%,. We have a joint bank account. Should anything happen to my husband can his sons put me out of the house or does my husbands half automatically go to me.
GillyG - 29-Dec-17 @ 3:43 AM
Got the house when I was still single July 2004, married Nov. 2004, I have solely paid for the mortgage ever since,mostly paid for any renovation we had in this property. Separated last Dec 2016. And i have my 2 kids with me. Now, i am in the process of selling the house, and his partner and him is demanding for their share of the equity, how much would they get from this?and who made the decision as to how much it will be? Will it complicate or delay the selling/change over of the house?
J - 23-Nov-17 @ 1:38 PM
MTS1960 - Your Question:
Hi What are my rights as far as our family home?My ex( judgment was Oct this yr, decree final in Feb 2018)In the judgment we didn’t stipulate other than a 50/50 split in The equity of the sale of our house ) because I was told by both myEx and his realtor the house would sell right away( it’s been 2 mths and Not one offer yet)Well my ex is moving out of state 12/1 and indicated both myself ( disabled)And my disabled son will have to pay all (2203 mortgage ) and all utilities butThe pge n water ( appx $200) but he says he’s still entitled to 50/50 of the equity when The house sells. Something is not right about that ( not to mention he’s getting a family home, no rent ) only paying utilities Also I’m afraid when I bring this concern up to him( I wanted to get good advice 1st) he will prob just say we’ll just foreclose (he has nothing to lose he has a place SCOTFREE for life )

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot fully advise as we are a UK-based website with knowledge only of UK family law. Much depends upon whether you are living in the house (you don't say). As a rule, if you are separated and your son is adult, then your ex isn't obligated to pay the bills. But if his name is on the mortgage, he should contribute. You would have to take further legal advice.
RelationshipExpert - 14-Nov-17 @ 9:35 AM
Hi What are my rights as far as our family home? My ex( judgment was Oct this yr, decree final in Feb 2018) In the judgment we didn’t stipulate other than a 50/50 split in The equity of the sale of our house ) because I was told by both my Ex and his realtor the house would sell right away( it’s been 2 mths and Not one offer yet) Well my ex is moving out of state 12/1 and indicated both myself ( disabled) And my disabled son will have to pay all (2203 mortgage ) and all utilities but The pge n water ( appx $200) but he says he’sstill entitled to 50/50 of the equity when The house sells ..... Something is not right about that ( not to mention he’s getting a family home, no rent ) only paying utilities Also I’m afraid when I bring this concern up to him( I wanted to get good advice 1st) he will prob just say we’lljust foreclose (he has nothing to lose he has a place SCOTFREE for life )
MTS1960 - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:56 AM
Susie - Your Question:
My ex partner of 5 years told me and my daughter to move out. The mortgage was solely in his name. I contributed each month to bills and so on. But I also invested a large sum of money on improvements made to the property. Which would have resulted in an increase on the value of the property. He has agreed to give a very small proportion of the money back to me. Am I able to claim more?

Our Response:
You may be able to prove your right to a claim on the home if you can show that you have ‘beneficial interest’. This usually means you’ve contributed to the home in ways other than directly paying the mortgage - for example by paying bills or council tax or for renovation or refurbishment. In court, you’ll need to show/prove to a judge how you’ve contributed towards paying for the home. If you can prove to the court that you have a beneficial interest in a property, the court will then consider the value of your beneficial interest. The size of the interest will be in proportion to the extent of the contribution made, please see link here.
RelationshipExpert - 6-Nov-17 @ 11:11 AM
My ex partner of 5 years told me and my daughter to move out. The mortgage was solely in his name. I contributed each month to bills and so on. But I also invested a large sum of money on improvements made to the property. Which would have resulted in an increase on the value of the property. He has agreed to give a very small proportion of the money back to me. Am I able to claim more?
Susie - 5-Nov-17 @ 5:11 AM
Suzy - Your Question:
I own my own property and my partner does not live with me. However, every 6 weeks he stays for about a week. He has left some clothes and belongings here. I have been told that because he stays at regular intervals and has left a few possessions in my property, it means that at some point in the future, he could make a claim on my house. He has not contributed to bills and there is no mortgage. Please can you advise me?

Our Response:
Unless your partner is living with you and has invested or contributes financially towards your home, then he would not be allowed to claim. If your partner is living elsewhere and is registered at another address, then it would be easy to prove your partner has not lived with you. Therefore, unless he moves in, see link here, he has no possible long term rights.
RelationshipExpert - 31-Oct-17 @ 11:17 AM
I own my own property and my partner does not live with me. However, every 6 weeks he stays for about a week. He has left some clothes and belongings here. I have been told that because he stays at regular intervals and has left a few possessions in my property, it means that at some point in the future, he could make a claim on my house. He has not contributed to bills and there is no mortgage. Please can you advise me?
Suzy - 30-Oct-17 @ 12:59 PM
Hello, I am living with my new partner and we are wanting to transfer myself onto his mortgage. Only problem is that his ex partner is on the mortgage currently. He bought the house before he was with his ex ans transferred her onto it. Soon after their relationship broke down and they finished. She never paid a penny into the house - no payments for bills or mortgage. She is now demanding a payout from the house otherwise she won’t sign the house over for us to have it. Is this ok for her to do or is there a way we don’t have to pay her!
JK - 26-Oct-17 @ 6:40 AM
Davey J - Your Question:
I met a lady with a 13 yr old daughter 9 years ago, when her daughter turned 16 her benefits stopped and she couldn't afford the rent, so I offered both of them a place to stay with me, we opened a joint account and she payed in £300 per month, she transferred £50 from the joint account in to my account then put the £250 back in to her account, because she was on minimum wage I just let it go, all bills and the mortgage are in my name and I pay everything, I purchased a new house 4 yrs ago (again in my name) and payed off the mortgage with my inheritance, recently we have fallen out and now she wants to move out, the council want proof she is not entitled to anything from me, so I asked a solicitor and they believe she may be and said they would need to talk to her not me, I have a great relationship with her daughter, who no longer lives with us and hopefully I will never lose that, I also hope me and my ex remain friends, are the solicitors correct?

Our Response:
If you are the sole owner, you have a right to stay in the home. However, your partner may be able to claim a 'beneficial interest' in your property, please see link here , under the 'housing' heading. I'm trying to understand why you had this financial arrangement whereby she transferred money into a joint account - but then transferred it back into hers.
RelationshipExpert - 23-Oct-17 @ 2:45 PM
I met a lady with a 13 yr old daughter 9 years ago, when her daughter turned 16 her benefits stopped and she couldn't afford the rent, so i offered both of them a place to stay with me, we opened a joint account and she payed in £300 per month, she transferred £50 from the joint account in to my account then put the £250 back in to her account, because she was on minimum wage i just let it go, all bills and the mortgage are in my name and i pay everything, i purchased a new house 4 yrs ago (again in my name) and payed off the mortgage with my inheritance, recently we have fallen out and now she wants to move out, the council want proof she is not entitled to anything from me, so I asked a solicitor and they believe she may be and said they would need to talk to her not me, I have a great relationship with her daughter, who no longer lives with us and hopefully I will never lose that, I also hope me and my ex remain friends, are the solicitors correct?
Davey J - 22-Oct-17 @ 10:07 PM
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