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Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 22 Feb 2017 | 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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Aiden - Your Question:
I have been separated from my wife for 2 years and going through a divorce. I left her with everything in the house for my sons sake and give her money every week for my son to which we agreed on. Myself and new partner have just bought a house with our own working money. Can my soon to be ex wife intitled to anything I have ie. new house myself and partner have bought it was our money and nothing to do with the ex

Our Response:
If the money you bought the house with, was not money from the joint-marital pot but money that you have accumulated since the separation with your wife, then it is highly unlikely your ex will be able to make any claim on your new property.
RelationshipExpert - 23-Feb-17 @ 11:10 AM
I have been separated from my wife for 2 years and going through a divorce. I left her with everything in the house for my sons sake and give her money every week for my son to which we agreed on. Myself and new partner have just bought a house with our own working money. Can my soon to be ex wife intitled to anything i have ie. new house myself and partner have bought it was our money and nothing to do with the ex
Aiden - 22-Feb-17 @ 4:17 PM
Maddox - Your Question:
Hi was married for over 20 years and in 2012 bought my council house in joint names with my ex husband, approximate 10 months later my ex husband walked out and has never paid a penny towards the mortgage or the many thousands of pounds of debts he left me with. To avoid losing the house and paying a penalty I switched from repayment to interest only mortgage to try to pay all the debts. The house is in negative equity and I have been trying to do it up. My ex husband 4 years ago wrote a letter stating he did not want the house as long as I paid for the divorce and then disappeared. He has never paid maintenance for our disabled son and has now sent an email stating he is getting married and wants a divorce and 50% of the house as he believes that as I was only paying interest only mortgage I have never paid a penny on mortgage. The tone of his email is threatening and again he says he has a buyer lined up for the house and is almost saying that either I buy him out or else. My.question is where do I legally stand. As he walked out and was not prepared to try mediation , pay maintenance or settle his debts or pay for any house improvements or mortgage payments can he force me to sell the family home.

Our Response:
In this case you would have to take legal advice. If the house is in negative equity, you have been caring for your disabled son and your ex has not paid towards the mortage, it is highly unlikely he would be entitled to anything from the property. A solicitor's letter to your ex outlining the fact he has little legal sway may help clarify the issue and help you to explore your own options. In reality you have nothing to buy him out of if there is no equity in the property.
RelationshipExpert - 22-Feb-17 @ 1:41 PM
Johnny - Your Question:
Is my ex wife intitled to half my house if the house belongs to myself and new partner

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you bought the house post-separation from your wife and whether the money used to buy the house with was part of your joint marital pot. If your ex can prove the money you used to buy the house with was part of her marital pot with you, then she may have a claim.
RelationshipExpert - 22-Feb-17 @ 12:07 PM
Hi was married for over 20 years and in 2012 bought my council house in joint names with my ex husband, approximate 10 months later my ex husband walked out and has never paid a penny towards the mortgage or the many thousands of pounds of debts he left me with. To avoid losing the house and paying a penaltyi switched from repayment to interest only mortgage to try to pay all the debts. The house is in negative equity and i have been trying to do it up. My ex husband 4 years ago wrote a letter stating he did not want the house as long as i paid for the divorce and then disappeared. He has never paid maintenance for our disabled son and has now sent an email stating he is getting married and wants a divorce and 50% of the house as he believes that as i was only paying interest only mortgage i have never paid a penny on mortgage. The tone of his email is threatening and again he says he has a buyer lined up for the house and is almost saying that either i buy him out or else. My .question is where do i legally stand. As he walked out and was not prepared to try mediation , pay maintenance or settle his debts or pay for any house improvements or mortgage payments can he force me to sell the family home.
Maddox - 21-Feb-17 @ 9:02 PM
Is my ex wife intitled to half my house if the house belongs to myself and new partner
Johnny - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:21 PM
keycm - Your Question:
I have a house that I bought 17 years ago, this property is rented and has a mortgage on it, which I have paid. I put my partner on the mortgage 8 months ago, we have now spint up, but they want the house sold taking half the equity, can they do that. I would like to make an offer of equity value for the risk for 8 months rather than sell, can I do that.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this to see what your options are. You don't say whether your ex gave you any money towards the house etc and what his contribution has been. A court would look into the circumstances behind you putting your ex on the mortgage and his contribution to your home in order to issue a pro-rata settlement. However, while he is considered joint owner, and while you have a joint mortgage you won't be able to alter the terms of the mortgage without the other joint owner's permission.
RelationshipExpert - 17-Feb-17 @ 12:56 PM
Annon - Your Question:
My ex partner purchased a property in 2010 in cash, for a family home for us to live in with our 1 child. I paid approx £15000 to renovate the property. I spent 10 months in 2011 completely renovating the property, ripping out, stripping walls, basically rebuilding the property from bare brick to a home. When we briefly split up in 2012, I moved out of the renovated property and my ex-partner gave me the £15,000 back. In 2013 I moved back into the renovated property and we pay half for all household expenditure, including electric/gas, grocery shopping, school fees etc. The renovated house has now increased in value by approx £100,000. In 2014 we had another child. In Sept 2016 we split up. I have gone on to purchase my own property albeit with a mortgage. I have asked my Ex partner to recognise that me stumping up the £15,000 (albeit this has been returned to me) and me renovating the property together with my Ex partner, should mean that I am entitled to at least a % of the profit that has been added to the property. My Ex partner is saying I have no rights in the property and that I will not receive a penny from him in relation to the property and that if needs be he will sell the property for £1. Whilst I want to keep the situation as amicable as possible for the sake of the children. I feel like I will come out of this split very hard done by and desperately would appreciate some advice. I want to be able to set up a new home properly, so that my kids and I do not have to struggle financially. Any guidance/advice would very gratefully be received.

Our Response:
You may be able to establish a ‘beneficial interest’ if you’ve paid towards the mortgage, or towards improvements or an extension. However, you would need to seek legal advice regarding this to see whether you have a case. You have a better chance of being able to claim an amount from your ex's estate, if you have children together and did so when he purchased the home.
RelationshipExpert - 17-Feb-17 @ 12:05 PM
I have a house that I bought 17 years ago, this property is rented and has a mortgage on it, which I have paid.I put my partner on the mortgage 8 months ago, we have now spint up, but they want the house sold taking half the equity, can they do that. I would like to make an offer of equity value for the risk for 8 months rather than sell, can I do that.
keycm - 16-Feb-17 @ 6:46 PM
My ex partner purchased a property in 2010 in cash, for a family home for us to live in with our 1 child.I paid approx £15000 to renovate the property.I spent 10 months in 2011 completely renovating the property, ripping out, stripping walls, basically rebuilding the property from bare brick to a home. When we briefly split up in 2012, I moved out of the renovated property and my ex-partner gave me the £15,000 back.In 2013 I moved back into the renovated property and we pay half for all household expenditure, including electric/gas, grocery shopping, school fees etc.The renovated house has now increased in value by approx £100,000.In 2014 we had another child. In Sept 2016 we split up. I have gone on to purchase my own property albeit with a mortgage.I have asked my Ex partner to recognise that me stumping up the £15,000 (albeit this has been returned to me) and me renovating the property together with my Ex partner, should mean that I am entitled to at least a % of the profit that has been added to the property. My Ex partner is saying I have no rights in the property and that I will not receive a penny from him in relation to the property and that if needs be he will sell the propertyfor £1.Whilst I want to keep the situation as amicable as possible for the sake of the children.I feel like I will come out of this split very hard done by and desperately would appreciate some advice.I want to be able to set up anew home properly, so that my kids and I do not have to struggle financially. Any guidance/advice would very gratefully be received.
Annon - 16-Feb-17 @ 4:53 PM
Jon - Your Question:
I'm devoriced and exwife lives in martial home I pay maintenance but not mortgage am I still entitled to half as I paid it solely for 19 years ?

Our Response:
You may be entitled to finances from the property - but much depends upon your background circumstances. If you paid the mortgage 'solely' for 19 years and were married during this time, then your contribution will still be viewed as a joint contribution. Much will also depend upon whether you have children etc. Therefore, if you cannot agree any possible financial entitlement with your ex wife, you may wish to seek some legal advice to see if it is worth pursuing.
RelationshipExpert - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:15 AM
I'm devoriced and exwife lives in martial home I pay maintenance but not mortgage am I still entitled to half as I paid it solely for 19 years ?
Jon - 13-Feb-17 @ 7:14 AM
Hi was with ex common law for 23 years have a home with him and both names are on the mortgage, we have 3 kids together. He walked out 10 months ago , first 7 months he only covered mortgage and for 3 months I have been paying for everything . My question is can he fight for 50 percent of the home proceeds?
Tiered - 12-Feb-17 @ 6:39 PM
Hi could you give me some advice on my situation please 5 years ago me and my girlfriend moved into a property that we intended to renovate she paid for it all but put my name on the deeds because of the amount of work i was about to undertake and the amount of work i did renavating 2 previous properties of hers .now the property is nearly complete she as said that she wants me to leaveand i have no claim to any of it because she can prove she paid for it . Could you tell me where I stand please.
Drew - 11-Feb-17 @ 10:24 PM
Hello I separated from my wife in 2009.Wehave a joint mortgage on our house.She now wants to settle the divorce.I have been paying child maintenance since then, but not formal mortgage payments. What percentage of the house am I entitled too and from when and too? Many thanks Prte
Pets - 11-Feb-17 @ 9:10 AM
stevep - Your Question:
I have just found out that my wife of 40 years has been having an affair for the last year.both of our names are on the deeds, the house has been paid for and I have the deeds.throughout our marriage I have paid for everything mortgage/bills/food/insurances/home furnishings/maintenance and improvements all she has ever paid is the TV licence.she is still living at home and the situation is terrible for me we have 2 children one 40yrs and one 38yrs old who have there own homes and do not live with us so it is just the 2 of us.I want to sell the property, can you tell me what percentage of the house value would she be entitiled to.thanks

Our Response:
Regardless of whether your wife is having an affair, or you have paid for most things throughout your marriage, you are still married and the marriage has been long. Who was it that brought up the children? This will be considered by any solicitor to be a job in itself. Therefore, it is more than likely your wife will be entitled to 50% of the house.
RelationshipExpert - 7-Feb-17 @ 11:28 AM
I have just found out that my wife of 40 years has been having an affair for the last year. both of our names are on the deeds, the house has been paid for and I have the deeds. throughout our marriage I have paid for everything mortgage/bills/food/insurances/home furnishings/maintenance and improvements all she has ever paid is the TV licence. she is still living at home and the situation is terrible for me we have 2 children one 40yrs and one 38yrs old who have there own homes and do not live with us so it is just the 2 of us. I want to sell the property, can you tell me what percentage of the house value would she be entitiled to. thanks
stevep - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:11 PM
Scotty - Your Question:
Hi PLEASE HELPI bought my house entirely in my name and I pay for all the mortgage. My girlfriend moved in 6 months ago and things are not working out for me and I want her to move out. The only thing her name is on is the council tax bill which I pay for anyways. We have a dog which she pays for all of him and she pays for the food bill for us and thats it. But my main worry and stress is the house. Does she have any rights or entitiled to any of my house when she moves out? Any help would be apretiated as the stress is phsically and mentally making me ill.

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely your ex will be entitled to anything given you have been together such a short time. The only way she may be entitled to a claim on your house is if you have children together, or she has helped with a refurbishment or put a significant amount of money into the house, please see CAB link here.
RelationshipExpert - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:25 AM
Hi PLEASE HELP I bought my house entirely in my name and i pay for all the mortgage. My girlfriend moved in 6 months ago and things are not working out for me and i want her to move out. The only thing her name is on is the council tax bill which i pay for anyways. We have a dog which she pays for all of him and she pays for the food bill for us and thats it. But my main worry and stress is the house. Does she have any rights or entitiled to any of my house when she moves out? Any help would be apretiated as the stress is phsically and mentally making me ill.
Scotty - 5-Feb-17 @ 3:27 PM
Can anyone help me out with some info .ive let my ex girlfriend stay in my house which was left to me in a will till I sell it is she any percentage off the sale off the house as we lived together for 11 years in the same houseand I'm still paying the household bills ...thanks
Jc - 28-Jan-17 @ 3:15 PM
I have split up from my ex 7 years ago and i am paying mortgage .he has not paid anything towards it.and both our names on morgage (ex partner) i lived prior 5 years in the house and felt pressured buying it.has he got a right to the house and now am married.
Jill - 27-Jan-17 @ 9:26 PM
I have lived with my partner at my flat which I purchased in 2010. We have lived at my place for3yrs we have now split up she still stays with me. Would she be entitled to anything from the flat
kendo2020 - 25-Jan-17 @ 4:16 PM
Alex2001 - Your Question:
Hi,3x years ago me and my EX Partner split up and moved out of our shared home (joint names on mortgage) with my daughter/step daughter into a rented property. As with all break-ups there was a few initial problems but basically we split amicably for the sake of the children. I also gave more maintenance payments than I needed to do because I never wanted money to come into the equation with our children/ future relationship. The idea was that I would sell the house pay off her debts incurred (restriction on house by mortgage lender if sold, 10k would need to be paid off) and the outstanding loan I had from our time together, then split the money that is left.However because her circumstances have changed, she has decided that she now wants to move back into our house, spend 2 years there then sell!! I want to move out in the next 3 months and settle all debts /agreements once and for all.I am not sure what my legal position is? she moved out 3years ago contributed nothing to any of the upkeep or refurbishments of house, more of the mortgage is paid off and there will be more money available because I have being paying the loans/debts etc etc. I want her to have the money she is entitled to and for the sake of the children but do not want to be taken for a 'ride'i would appreciate a bit of advice on this matter. Thanks

Our Response:
This is a tricky situation and one where you will need to seek legal advice really in order to explore your options. If your ex cannot afford to buy you out, then much will depend upon the age of your children and whether your ex is willing to take the matter to court. If your children are under 18, the court will act on what is in their best interests. However, if you leave the house and allow your ex and kids to move in, you will lose your rights and there is no guarantee you would be able to force her to sell in two years even if there is a written agreement.
RelationshipExpert - 13-Jan-17 @ 10:40 AM
Hi, 3x years ago me and my EX Partner split up and moved out of our shared home (joint names on mortgage) with my daughter/step daughter into a rented property. As with all break-ups there was a few initial problems but basically we split amicably for the sake of the children. I also gave more maintenance payments than I needed to do because I never wanted money to come into the equation with our children/ future relationship. The idea was that I would sell the house pay off her debts incurred (restriction on houseby mortgage lender if sold, 10k would need to be paid off) and the outstanding loan I had from our time together, then split the money that is left. However because her circumstances have changed, she has decided that she now wants to move back into our house, spend 2 years there then sell!! I want to move out in the next 3 months and settle all debts /agreements once and for all. I am not sure what my legal position is? she moved out 3years ago contributed nothing to any of the upkeep or refurbishments of house, more of the mortgage is paid off and there will be more money available because I have being paying the loans/debts etc etc. I want herto have the money she is entitled to and for the sake of the children but do not want to be taken for a 'ride' i would appreciate a bit of advice on this matter. Thanks
Alex2001 - 12-Jan-17 @ 9:29 AM
Hi, 3x years ago me and my EX Partner split up and moved out of our shared home (joint names on mortgage) with my daughter/step daughter into a rented property. As with all break-ups there was a few initial problems but basically we split amicably for the sake of the children. I also gave more maintenance payments than I needed to do because I never wanted money to come into the equation with our children/ future relationship. The idea was that I would sell the house pay off her debts incurred (restriction on houseby mortgage lender if sold, 10k would need to be paid off) and the outstanding loan I had from our time together, then split the money that is left. However because her circumstances have changed, she has decided that she now wants to move back into our house, spend 2 years there then sell!! I want to move out in the next 3 months and settle all debts /agreements once and for all. I am not sure what my legal position is? she moved out 3years ago contributed nothing to any of the upkeep or refurbishments of house, more of the mortgage is paid off and there will be more money available because I have being paying the loans/debts etc etc. I want herto have the money she is entitled to and for the sake of the children but do not want to be taken for a 'ride' i would appreciate a bit of advice on this matter. Thanks
Alex2001 - 11-Jan-17 @ 8:00 PM
Jen - Your Question:
I bought a house with my ex bf both names are on the mortgage and deeds. I paid all the deposit and had a deed of trust drawn up to protect this. The deed of trust also specified that we were entitled to 50% each of any equity after my deposit providing that we both equally contribute to half the mortgage repairs and maintenance. My bf left me after just 4 months and left me to pay all the mortgage bills repairs etc.Now 5 years later the property has alot of equity and he wants me to sell and he wants to claim half the equity although he has only contributed to 4 months mortgage payments.Will he be entittled to this ?

Our Response:
No, he has breached the terms of the mortgage agreement if he has ceased to pay. I can only suggest you seek legal advice regarding this. A solicitor's letter may spell your rights out clearly to your ex.
RelationshipExpert - 10-Jan-17 @ 2:32 PM
I bought a house with my ex bf both names are on the mortgage and deeds. I paid all the deposit and had a deed of trust drawn up to protect this. The deed of trust also specified that we were entitled to 50% each of any equity after my deposit providing that we both equally contribute to half the mortgage repairs and maintenance. My bf left me after just 4 months and left me to pay all the mortgage bills repairs etc. Now 5 years later the property has alot of equity and he wants me to sell and he wants to claim half the equity although he has only contributed to 4 months mortgage payments. Will he be entittled to this ?
Jen - 10-Jan-17 @ 1:37 AM
Needing advice- Your Question:
I have been living with my partner for five years the mortgage is solely in my name I pay all the bills and only my wage pays for everything else but we have one child and she has three to someone else who doesn't provide for them. I am no longer happy in the relationship and have felt like I am just a bank account to them all I have asked her to leave the house and I would help to find something for her as my daughter is my life and she knows this and used it against me. Has she any right to refuse to move out as this is making me feel very low and short tempered.

Our Response:
If your partner does not agree to leaving your home, I'm afraid your partner may have rights to stay (live) in your home, if she is considered the primary carer of your child. Please see Citizens Advice Bureau link here. You may also wish to seek legal advice regarding your best options.
RelationshipExpert - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:09 PM
I have been living with my partner for five years the mortgage is solely in my nameI pay all the bills and only my wage pays for everything else but we have one child and she has three to someone else who doesn't provide for them. I am no longer happy in the relationship and have felt like I am just a bank account to them all I have asked her to leave the house and I would help to find something for her as my daughter is my life and she knows this and used it against me. Has she any right to refuse to move out as this is making me feel very low and short tempered.
Needing advice - 8-Jan-17 @ 5:07 PM
I'm not a spiteful person I was in a relation ship just shy of 10 years in that time I renovated my partners unit thisrelation ship has ended and I would like to know do I have a right to clam for improvements I made during this time I spent up to 3 nights a week at the residence I have my own property and in no way has my partner contributed to its upkeep or maintenance curious?
king - 6-Jan-17 @ 9:35 AM
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