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Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Apr 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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Debbs - Your Question:
My husband and I married in 1996 we bought our home in 1997 in 2000 we split up mutually we have been separated for 18 yrs now the mortgage was paid up in 2000 by our endowment we took out due to an accident my husband had, he is now living with his gay partner and has not contributed to any maintenance needed on the property, so my question is that is he entitled to half of the property value of today or the value that we bought it for back in 1997 as he only paid mortgage for 3 years and I have had to keep up with maintenance and upkeep of property, I know we have not had a mortgage since 2000 but I just need to know where I can legally. Both our names are on the deeds.

Our Response:
Coming to an agreement mutually is the best way forward. If the mortgage was paid off by him from his personal money then this will be taken into consideration, as will the upkeep you have spent on improving the house since your husband left. Negotiation is best first, then if you cannot agree, you may wish to seek legal advice regarding what is a fair split.
RelationshipExpert - 23-Apr-18 @ 2:59 PM
My husband and I married in 1996 we bought our home in 1997 in 2000 we split up mutually we have been separated for 18 yrs now the mortgage was paid up in 2000 by our endowment we took out due to an accident my husband had, he is now living with his gay partner and has not contributed to any maintenance needed on the property, so my question is that is he entitled to half of the property value of today or the value that we bought it for back in 1997 as he only paid mortgage for 3 years and I have had to keep up with maintenance and upkeep of property, I know we have not had a mortgage since 2000 but I just need to know where I can legally. Both our names are on the deeds.
Debbs - 21-Apr-18 @ 9:24 PM
Dizzy57 - Your Question:
My now husband took out a mortgage in 94 with his now ex partner, she left in 98, and I moved in soon after, and have since then paid mortgage through my bank acc. My husband and I have paid for 19 yrs,theres less than a £1000 before it's paid in full. Now his ex wants her share, in 99 they made an agreement that he would take on all debts associated with the property, cash in the endowment, valued at £1500, which she would receive half, and she would sign over the property to him. She left with no forwarding address before the deal was finalised, we searched for her, last known address was a bfpo ,so we came to a dead end, she has never attempted to contact us in that time, now she wants the equity, he has offered her what was originally agreed plus interest, she would have no more than£3,500 invested in the house, her total mortgage payments in 3 and half years, and it was a 100% mortgage so no deposit. Will we have to sell up and move out, I'm in my 60s and afraid we may not be able to buy another home, we could never afford it or today's rentals either. Do I have a legal right as contributer to the mortgage repayments?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely a court would order you to sell. The court would look at your husband's ex's investment and payment into the house and decide accordingly based upon the short length of the marriage and your subsequent contribution also. Your husband may wish to seek a solicitor to outline an offer. If his ex dosen't accept it, then she would have the option to take the matter to court for the court to decide. However, you and your husband are in a much stronger position.
RelationshipExpert - 12-Apr-18 @ 12:16 PM
My now husband took out a mortgage in 94 with his now ex partner, she left in 98, and I moved in soon after, and have since then paid mortgage through my bank acc. My husband and I have paid for 19 yrs,theres less than a £1000 before it's paid in full. Now his ex wants her share, in 99 they made an agreement that he would take on all debts associated with the property, cash in the endowment, valued at £1500, which she would receive half, and she would sign over the property to him. She left with no forwarding address before the deal was finalised, we searched for her, last known address was a bfpo ,so we came to a dead end, she has never attempted to contact us in that time, now she wants the equity, he has offered her what was originally agreed plus interest, she would have no more than£3,500 invested in the house, her total mortgage payments in 3 and half years, and it was a 100% mortgage so no deposit. Will we have to sell up and move out, I'm in my 60s and afraid we may not be able to buy another home, we could never afford it or today's rentals either. Do i have a legal right as contributer to the mortgage repayments?
Dizzy57 - 11-Apr-18 @ 7:55 PM
Dexter - Your Question:
My ex Owens the houes out right but has cheated on me we have 2 children and he won’t us out can we stay or will we have to move

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you are married or not. You can see more via the CAB link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
RelationshipExpert - 10-Apr-18 @ 3:25 PM
My ex Owens the houes out right but has cheated on me we have 2 children and he won’t us out can we stay or will we have to move
Dexter - 10-Apr-18 @ 2:48 PM
Eileen Williams - Your Question:
I was with skneone ten years. What can I get back

Our Response:
Much depends upon the value of your assets and whether you were married or not. Please see link here , which should tell you all you need to know.
RelationshipExpert - 9-Apr-18 @ 1:02 PM
I was with skneone ten years. What can I get back
Eileen Williams - 8-Apr-18 @ 7:35 PM
Hi i im helen i was married 25 yrs my husband cheated he walked out 3 yrs ago We have leasehold and own25% each i pay rent and now he wants to give his share to my son of whitch we don't get on can he sell his share and leave me homeless please advise as i love this house i done no wrong and want to kp if i can its wrong to give my son as his 20 and should get after im gone only
Ellie - 5-Apr-18 @ 11:57 PM
lb - Your Question:
I bought my house with my ex husband, who signed the house over to me. I re-married in 2011, and my new husband has only ever paid £300 contribution a month towards all the house hold bills. We have two children 7 and 6, and separated in 2014. His name has never been put onto the deeds, as I refused if he didn't pay half the mortgage and the bills. We have built extensions onto the house, all of which I have re-paid on my own. IF I sell, is he entitled to anything. We have never divorced, just separated.

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely your husband would be entitled to anything if the house can be considered a pre-marital asset (i.e owned by you before your marriage).
RelationshipExpert - 5-Apr-18 @ 11:35 AM
I bought my house with my ex husband, who signed the house over to me. I re-married in 2011, and my new husband has only ever paid £300 contribution a month towards all the house hold bills. We have two children 7 and 6, and separated in 2014. His name has never been put onto the deeds, as I refused if he didn't pay half the mortgage and the bills. We have built extensions onto the house, all of which I have re-paid on my own. IF I sell, is he entitled to anything. We have never divorced, just separated.
lb - 3-Apr-18 @ 2:31 PM
Michael - Your Question:
Hi,I bought a house with my ex-partner in Jan 13. We had a child in Apr 13. The house and mortgage are both in my name only. We were engaged in May 15 but never married. We split up and I moved out of the property in Apr 16 as I had an affair. I have continued to pay the mortgage, house insurance and child maintenance. I also rent my own place now. I am now at breaking point in terms of finance, I cannot afford to continue to run two houses and pay maintenance. I need to sell the former family home. I work in financial services and will lose my job if I fall into serious arrears. I am borrowing more and more and I cannot keep this up. I also do not have available funds to be able to continue paying a solicitor. I was speaking to one prior to Christmas trying to get more access to my son (who my ex only lets me see every other weekend) What can I do? Thanks

Our Response:
Requesting mediation with your ex would be a start. If your ex refuses to discuss the matter regarding both your living expenses and access, then your only option would be to apply to court for the court to decide. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can self-litigate, please see link here . If your financial situation is unsustainable then the court will attempt to resolve this and access arrangements rationally. 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.
RelationshipExpert - 22-Mar-18 @ 12:06 PM
Hi, I bought a house with my ex-partner in Jan 13. We had a child in Apr 13. The house and mortgage are both in my name only. We were engaged in May 15 but never married. We split up and I moved out of the property in Apr 16 as I had an affair. I have continued to pay the mortgage, house insurance and child maintenance. I also rent my own place now. I am now at breaking point in terms of finance, I cannot afford to continue to run two houses and pay maintenance. I need to sell the former family home. I work in financial services and will lose my job if I fall into serious arrears. I am borrowing more and more and I cannot keep this up. I also do not have available funds to be able to continue paying a solicitor. I was speaking to one prior to Christmas trying to get more access to my son (who my ex only lets me see every other weekend) What can I do? Thanks
Michael - 21-Mar-18 @ 2:33 PM
Davehelp - Your Question:
Hi, recently split up with my partner. 4 years ago I decided to move House. I bought a house outright with my money and a month or 2 the purchase I allowed my partner of (1 year at the time) to moved in with me. During the period he has been living here he has paid a basic sum of £300 for food , gas , electric and water. we have made a few improvements to the house, to which any money she paid was returned in full. Now since we have split she is now demanding a monetary sum for the house due to the improvements making the property now worth more. Just wondering where do I stand with this? She has never been on the deeds for the property but did stay here for 3+ years?

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 home, please see link here . If you have children between you, your partner may be able to be allowed to remain in the house with your children (if she is the primary carer). If you do not have children between you, then unless your partner can prove she contributed financially to improvements etc, then she will have little or no claim on your property after such a short relationship.
RelationshipExpert - 6-Mar-18 @ 11:24 AM
Hi, recently split up with my partner. 4 years ago I decided to move House.I bought a house outright with my money and a month or 2 the purchase I allowed my partner of (1 year at the time) to moved in with me. During the period he has been living here he has paid a basic sum of £300 for food , gas , electric and water.we have made a few improvements to the house, to which any money she paid was returned in full. Now since we have split she is now demanding a monetary sum for the house due to the improvements making the property now worth more. Just wondering where do I stand with this?She has never been on the deeds for the property but did stay here for 3+ years?
Davehelp - 5-Mar-18 @ 4:18 PM
Thank you Gaynor, yes my Mother is awful in doing what she is doing. I hope your right. I will be going to see a solicitor with my Father who is 83 years old !She is a disgusting woman and very greedy. I just hope it will not be too stressful for him.
Steph - 22-Feb-18 @ 10:54 PM
@Steff - your father should just refuse to sell and let your mum take him to court. Your dad can refuse to settle 50/50, especially if he has paid the mortgage for 30 years and she has never paid a penny and moved out shortly after. A court is likely to decide in his favour, especially if he brought you as kids up in the house too. Some people are soooo cheeky.
GaynorB - 22-Feb-18 @ 10:55 AM
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
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