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Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 13 Nov 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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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
Nilou - Your Question:
Hi, married for 6 years , no children , I haven’t paid mortgages or bills (I didn’t have British citizenship when we bought the house so the bank didn’t let me have the mortgage) , been working full time for three years (been a student before that). My husband believes that he can legally evict me and I have no share in the house. My name is not on the deed but I have interest in the land registry. Will I get half the house ?

Our Response:
If you are married, then you are legally entitled to claim regardless of whether you have paid towards the mortgage. You may wish to seek legal advice. If the marriage is short, then much will depend upon other circumstances such whether the was a deposit etc and how much each of you financially put into buying the house.
RelationshipExpert - 12-Oct-17 @ 2:08 PM
Hi, married for 6 years , no children , I haven’t paid mortgages or bills(I didn’t have British citizenship when we bought the house so the bank didn’t let me have the mortgage) , been working full time for three years (been a student before that). My husband believes that he can legally evict me and I have no share in the house. My name is not on the deed but I have interest in the land registry. Will I get half the house ?
Nilou - 12-Oct-17 @ 3:41 AM
My partner divorced his wife in 2007 and in the divorce papers it says he is I entitled to 40% if the house when his youngest left school Well that is now but his ex has just said it was 40% of the house price in 2007 and not now can she do that ?? Is it legal ??? Please any advice??
Sammi - 2-Oct-17 @ 9:05 PM
Robbo - Your Question:
If I buy a house with my new partner, could his wife that he has been split from for around a year be entitled to anything??

Our Response:
Unless the house you buy is financed partly from money that could be construed to come out of his and his ex's joint marital estate then, no. If he is using money from a previous joint account, or money that has been sidelined from the time he was married, then his ex might have a claim.
RelationshipExpert - 26-Sep-17 @ 3:44 PM
If i buy a house with my new partner, could his wife that he has been split from for around a year be entitled to anything??
Robbo - 22-Sep-17 @ 9:15 PM
I bought a house with my ex wife relationship broke down. I left the house and come off the Mortgage to get my own. We have children together and have paid maintenance and always wanted them to have a home so didn't really talk about selling the house. Since then I have had a loan come through from a debt collection agencey that she was paying through ccsc (we consolidate loans the money was used for the house) this loan is in my name. But I did presume she paid that off after she sold the house a few years after I moved out. This has put me and my family under finacial trouble. Am I entitled to a percentage of the house we had together as I received nothing from her selling the house. Or am I not because I came off the mortgage to get my own
Mr p - 19-Sep-17 @ 7:55 PM
Jo - Your Question:
I took over the mortgage of my marital home 10 years ago. When we got a divorce.There is a £50.000 charge on the deeds. Our son has just left full time education and my ex husband he has given me 28 days to pay it off. I have been paying the mortgage in my own name for 10 years. My elderly mother lives with me and I cannot afford to pay. Can he make me sell the house to pay him leaving my mother and I homeless. He lives in a 4 bedroom house without any mortgage.

Our Response:
He can certainly attempt to take you to court if you refuse to pay and/or cannot pay and/or if there was a agreement/court order you could stay in it until your son left full-time education. Can you remortgage and buy him out? The 28 days is a pressure-tactic by his solicitor, but, yes he could take the matter to court and the court could request that you put it on the market in order to release his equity now that your son has left education.
RelationshipExpert - 18-Sep-17 @ 3:50 PM
I took over the mortgage of my marital home 10 years ago. When we got a divorce.There is a £50.000 charge on the deeds. Our son has just left full time education and my ex husband he has given me 28 days to pay it off. I have been paying the mortgage in my own name for 10 years . My elderly mother lives with me and I cannot afford to pay. Can he make me sell the house to pay him leaving my mother and I homeless . He lives in a 4 bedroom house without any mortgage.
Jo - 17-Sep-17 @ 12:00 AM
KO1970 - Your Question:
My partner of 14 years and I share a home, we have 2 children and a step daughter, she wants us to separate. the house is in my name and I put down a sizeable deposit and have paid the mortgage through a joint bank account, she has worked two days a week for the entirety of our relationship, she is demanding half of the equity which if were true I would have to sell and I would no longer have a home for my boys. can I have some advice on where I stand please

Our Response:
Your partner will have fewer rights if you're living together than if you're married. 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 it and more so if you have two children together. Much also depends upon who becomes the resident parent of your children, please see CAB link here . You would also be advised to take some professional legal advice in order to further explore your options.
RelationshipExpert - 8-Sep-17 @ 3:24 PM
My partner of 14 years and I share a home, we have 2 children and a step daughter, she wants us to separate. the house is in my name and I put down a sizeable deposit and have paid the mortgage through a joint bank account, she has worked two days a week for the entirety of our relationship, she is demanding half of the equity which if were true I would have to sell and I would no longer have a home for my boys. can I have some advice on where I stand please
KO1970 - 8-Sep-17 @ 9:01 AM
Helen - Your Question:
Hi, I need some advise please. I brought a house with my partner 35 years ago with had two children but never married. He left the house 25 years ago and I continued to pay the mortgage and maintain the house which included new windows, kitchen, bathroom and a new driveway.My children have now left home and I would like to move to a smaller house but my ex wants half which won't leave me enough money to buy a small house.My ex also is the owner of three houses, would I be entitled to mare than half.Many thanks

Our Response:
If your ex is in disagreement, then you would have to apply to court. It is likely that if you have lived in the house for a good period of time and could prove you have paid for the financial renovations and upkeep of the house and the mortgage to date, then you would be awarded more. However, you may need to seek legal advice in order to explore your options further as much will depend on other financial factors such as him paying child maintenance etc throughout this period of time.
RelationshipExpert - 5-Sep-17 @ 11:59 AM
Hi, I need some advise please. I brought a house with my partner 35 years ago with had two children but never married.He left the house 25 years ago and I continued to pay the mortgage and maintain the house which included new windows, kitchen, bathroom and a new driveway. My children have now left home and I would like to move to a smaller house but my ex wants half which won't leave me enough money to buy a small house. My ex also is the owner of three houses, would I be entitled to mare than half. Many thanks
Helen - 4-Sep-17 @ 7:03 PM
Jewels - Your Question:
Some help please. I had an endowent morgage in my own name 24 years ago. I then married 7 years into the morgage but moved into my new husbands home and rented mine. Through financial difficulties I didn't keep up the payments on the endowment side. After 6 years we sold my husbands house and moved into mine four years ago my husband left just one month after changing the morgage to a repayment. During the time he was with me we spent 3000 on renovation (I have all receipts). He has not contributed to the repayment morgage other than 1 month or any other payments towards the house. He now wants half. I've also done considerable renovation is he entitled to half the house when I'm the one who has added value. Any help would be appreciated

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this. I can't quite work out how long you have been together. But, regardless of who spent what, if you have been married for a long while then it is more likely your assets will be considerd jointly owned and split down the middle. You don't say what you did with the money from your husband's house when you moved either. If this went into the joint marital pot, then this will be taken into consideration. Therefore, some legal advice may be needed here.
RelationshipExpert - 29-Aug-17 @ 12:28 PM
Some help please. I had an endowentmorgagein my own name 24 years ago. I then married 7 years into the morgage but moved into my new husbands home and rented mine. Through financial difficulties I didn't keep up the payments on the endowment side. After 6 years we sold my husbands house and moved intomine four yearsago my husband left just one month after changing the morgage to a repayment. During the time he was with me we spent 3000 on renovation (I have all receipts). He has not contributed to the repayment morgage other than 1 month or any other payments towards the house. He now wants half.I'vealso done considerable renovation is he entitled to half the house when I'm the one who has added value.Any help would be appreciated
Jewels - 28-Aug-17 @ 10:11 AM
Hi. Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Bought a house jointly Dec 15. Ex partner moved out Dec 16'. Both paid equal deposit of 2.5k for the house. Joint account opened just for mortgage and bills and have worked out that since Dec 15 ex has paid a total of 1.5k towards bills as was taking more money out the joint than paying in. The house was a full renovation which I used my inheritance from parents to do up the house. We also got a 5k loan to finish it but only spent 2.3k of it on the house. The remaining 2.5k he spent on himself. Gambling and drinking. We also have a kitchen and sofa on finance. Totalling just over 6k still to pay back. So my question is.. I want to remain in the house and he will not discuss the house maturely he just says he wants what he's 'owed' what are my options? How can I get him off the mortgage without having to fork out thousands to buy him out when he has inputted so little??
Sue - 13-Aug-17 @ 4:30 PM
H - Your Question:
I bought a house with my partner 10 years ago after selling my flat we got a Morgage in joint names and I put down a big deposit and pay all the morgage in my name and all the bill for 9 years is my partner intitled to half

Our Response:
If the mortgage is in joint names, then theoretically he is. However, if your partner has not contributed financially to payments you can try to negotiate a fair settlement that benefits you given the deposit you have put in and the fact you have paid the mortgage, please see link here . If your partner disagrees and wants half and you do not think he is entitled to half, then either of you would have to take the matter to court for the court to decide. If this happens then you would possibly be favoured if you have paid the majority of everything to date. It is likely you may also get your deposit back in full. Although much depends upon other circumstances. As in all cases such as this, coming to a mutual agreement is always best.
RelationshipExpert - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:57 PM
Me and my ex husband bought a property in 1989. We separated in 1994. And he has not paid a penny to mortgage since ! We divorced in 1996. House is in joint names. The term expires in 2 years. Will he be entitled to any equity ? Hoping someone can help x
Polly - 7-Aug-17 @ 10:59 AM
jen - Your Question:
I was married for 20 years and have now been separated for 13 years. I have stayed the house we bought for £26.000. We had a joint account and I have always worked. After we parted my husband carried on with the mortgage payments I paid for all repairs and upkeep. The mortgage should have finished in 2013 but the last time I had chance to ask him 2016 he said it was still ongoing. He is living with someone else and has another mortgage in his name alone. I can't be certain, but I think he had taken out loans on the mortgage of my home to pay for cars, holidays and renovations on his own property. I have tried to ask but don't get a real response. I feel I have a right to know what's happening with the home I have now lived in for 29 years. How can I find out what's going on if he won't tell me?

Our Response:
You don't say whether you have been divorced or whether you are part owner or whether the house was a pre-marital asset owned by your ex, therefore it makes it difficult to answer your question. If the house is part of the joint marital pot and if nothing has been finalised via divorce and if he has taken money out of the joint marital pot without your consent (even if he owned the house before you married) then he may be financially in debt to you if he has remortgaged or taken money out for loans against it. A professional legal adviser will give you guidance regarding your options. It is certainly worth finding out.
RelationshipExpert - 7-Aug-17 @ 10:00 AM
I bought a house with my partner 10 years ago after selling my flat we got a Morgage in joint names and I put down a big deposit and pay all the morgage in my name and all the bill for 9 years is my partner intitled to half
H - 6-Aug-17 @ 8:10 AM
I was married for 20 years and have now been separated for 13 years.I have stayed the house we bought for £26.000. We had a joint account and I have always worked. After we parted my husband carried on with the mortgage payments I paid for all repairs and upkeep. The mortgage should have finished in 2013 but the last time I had chance to ask him 2016 he said it was still ongoing. He is living with someone else and has another mortgage in his name alone. I can't be certain, but I think he had taken out loans on the mortgage of my home to pay for cars, holidays and renovations on his own property.I have tried to ask but don't get a real response. I feel I have a right to know what's happening with the home I have now lived in for 29 years. How can I find out what's going on if he won't tell me?
jen - 4-Aug-17 @ 12:54 PM
@Boo - if he has paid the mortgage for all these years - he's entitled to his half share. Especially as you have not had to pay anything towards your accommodation. It sounds pretty fair to me. You would have to see a solicitor about taking it to court to let the court decide (if you don't agree to his terms or him to yours). But keep in mind if you take it to court it will cost.
Andy - 31-Jul-17 @ 4:05 PM
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