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Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 22 Sep 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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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
Hi some advice would be great my ex partner and myself bought the house 21 years ago for £27,000 which I'm still living in with our 2 children, we split up and he moved out 17 years ago we were never married it's a joint mortgage and hes always paid the small mortgage that's on the property which in arrangement was instead of paying child maintenance. Iv always worked and brought up our children in our family home he's got a career and his now married with 2 other kids and also owns 2 other propertys I'm also married, anyway as my daughter is nearly 18 my ex is now pushing for my house which like I said is our family home to be valued and then for him to have half of what it's worth now to get his name off the property which iv put money into had new kitchen all fone up and it's now worth at least £100.000 he's only paid £129 a month for mortgage nothing else. He was violent with me in the past. I would be grateful of any helpful advice. Regards
Boo - 31-Jul-17 @ 1:45 AM
Dave - Your Question:
Hi, I have a house in which I paid the full deposit and the mortgage is solely in my name (my ex had bad credit). We were together for 4 years and have now split. She and I share a joint account in which some bills are taken (not the mortgage payment) and she doesnt actually have any bills in her name but is on the council tax etc.We were never married, just partners. Would she be entitled to any of my house?Many Thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here which should tell you all you need to know about how you ex may be able to 'register an interest'.
RelationshipExpert - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:24 PM
Kathy - Your Question:
Hi, my husband, myself & our son have a house split as follows - 45% me, 45% my husband and 10% our son. Our son who married in March 2012 and separated in September 2014 his ex now wants half of his share of the property approx value £120,000 is she entitled to this. We all reside in this property, this is our permanent home. I would like your opinion, many thanks.

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely she would be awarded this money if your son owned the percentage of the house prior to marriage. If the marriage was short and she has had no input into your estate financially, then this would be classed as a pre-marital asset in court. If your son's ex did contribute financially to the purchase and she did so when married to your son, only then may she have a case.
RelationshipExpert - 28-Jul-17 @ 12:59 PM
Hi, I have a house in which I paid the full deposit and the mortgage is solely in my name (my ex had bad credit). We were together for 4 years and have now split. She and I share a joint account in which some bills are taken (not the mortgage payment) and she doesnt actually have any bills in her name but is on the council tax etc. We were never married, just partners. Would she be entitled to any of my house? Many Thanks
Dave - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:51 PM
Hi, my husband, myself & our son have a house split as follows - 45% me, 45% my husband and 10% our son.Our son who married in March 2012 and separated in September 2014 his ex now wants half of his share of the property approx value £120,000 is she entitled to this.We all reside in this property, this is our permanent home. I would like your opinion, many thanks.
Kathy - 27-Jul-17 @ 10:20 AM
Wainy - Your Question:
I've had my own mortgage for nearly twenty years. In 2008 I remarried and in 2011 he left. His name has never been on the mortgage. He never contributed to the mortgage as he bought a new family car and he paid for this, of which he took when he left. He also took a loan out in his name. Will I be liable for any of the loan and the car finance. Also can he make any claim on my property ?

Our Response:
Unless the loan was in your name also, then you will not be liable. It is highly unlikely your ex will have any claim on your property due to the short term of your marriage.
RelationshipExpert - 17-Jul-17 @ 12:11 PM
I've had my own mortgage for nearly twenty years. In 2008 i remarried and in 2011 he left. His name has never been on the mortgage. He never contributed to the mortgage as he bought a new family car and he paid for this, of which he took when he left. He also took a loan out in his name. Will I be liable for any of the loan and the carfinance. Also can he make any claim on my property ?
Wainy - 15-Jul-17 @ 2:43 PM
Linz - Your Question:
Hi. Need advice. My soon to be ex husband wants me to buy him out or sell my home. It was bought by me 17 years ago. 9 year ago I added him too the mortgage we separated a year after (2008.) From the day he left iv had nothing towards the mortgage/ children. He's now saying he wants half. My youngest is 13 he as said he's taking my boy at 16 so I have to sell and give him half. Any advice would be very grateful. Many thanks.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this. As the marriage was short, then the house may be considered as a pre-marital asset should the matter have to go to court. If so, it would pass back into your ownership.
RelationshipExpert - 13-Jul-17 @ 3:02 PM
Hi. Need advice. My soon to be ex husbandwants me to buy him out or sell my home. It was bought by me 17 years ago. 9 year ago I added him too the mortgage we separated a year after (2008.) From the day he left iv had nothing towards the mortgage/ children. He's now saying he wants half. My youngest is 13 he as said he's taking my boy at 16 so I have to sell and give him half.Any advice would be very grateful. Many thanks.
Linz - 12-Jul-17 @ 9:48 PM
Hi my partner and his ex split up in 1993/94 weren't married theyhad a endowment mortgage policy together and her name is on both , they have been split up all these years and the mortgage is coming to a end this month. As the endowment was missed sold and there has been a shortfall abbey life have now payed out the 26,000 and they have split the cheque to my partner and his ex there is a shortfall of 18,000 which my partner has been saving for and has . My partner contacted her to explain what was happening with the endowment policy , she signed the relevant paper work to send the money in a old joint account that they had , Abbeylife has took so long to sort this out they end up sending a split cheque to both parties As they have sent her the cheque she is now saying that is her money and she wants compensation.she may have contributed 1,400 over the year or so she lived in the property. My partner has paid for everything , she has had regular maintenance payments and was fully involved in there life , the son even lived with us. just want to know where he stands with all this legally
123 - 17-Jun-17 @ 3:36 PM
hi Relationship expert Me and my ex split up and divorced in 2008 after 5 years of marriage. We didnt have a house that time we were renting. I got remarry in 2011. Me and my new partner just bought property. Most of the money for the deposit came from mynew partner. Just realized that i didnt have any consent order in 2008 and now i am worries if my ex can claim over my property. Please advise if my ex can claim over my property or any finance that me and my new partner set up. Thanks in advance
Charlie - 8-Jun-17 @ 2:25 PM
Dear relationship expert, Some what sadly (sense of failure), I have recently split form my partner of 24 years, we were not married. She developed an alchohol problem which has gotten out of hand resulting in me asking her to move out (not happy). We have lived together for over 20 of those, firstly, in her solely owned "smaller" house, which she still owned and was rented ( and has now moved back into). Then for the last 19 years in our current "bigger" house, wholly owned by myself, with all the deposit, mortgage and bills paid by me. We have 2 children who have chosen to stay in the "big" house. I say children, the eldest is 19 and the youngest 18 in a few weeks although both in full time education. I have been the main bread winner but my ex has always worked although she took opportunity to make personal lifestyle work choices. My ex always treated her original home as her asset, taking money via an additional mortgage to start a business ( not the one referred to below), even though I was against. I have always saved and reduced my mortgage with on eye on needing to fund my daughters education, something my ex never concerned her self with. Hence, she has very little in personal savings. Whilst I was always willing to share assets when we were together, I feel given her lifestyle choices I shouldn't have to sell my home or hand over my savings, some which were also inherited and some from a 25 yr savings plan. On an equity front, there is little doubt my personal assets via pension and this house are far greater. But she does have her own home, albeit with a mortgage which she hasn't had to pay for the past 20 years. There is also small buisness we started together 8 years ago, start up funded by me and now she has 100% of the shares in her name for tax reasons. I have accepted she will take this over, as it is effectively her living now. Can she have any claim on my house equity, pensions and savings? she keeps mentioning I need to settle with her, and a solicitor has said there would be implied trust, as I couldn't have paid the mortgage and saved if if wasn't for my ex working and helping with child care. This is a stretch of the true picture. The saving are not insignificant but a majority, around £50k, I have saved earmarking for my daughters education ( about 30k) and the rest as a start in life, I begrudge "robbing" the funds from my daughters pot, as there is only one who will replace it. There is one other issue, about 4 years ago I helped my ex's mother out as none of her 4 children wanted to. She wanted to move to a bungalow and due to bank austerity measures and age she couldn't get the 20k she needed on a mortgage. I agreed to lend £20k of the earmarked children's education money, on the basis is wouldn't be required for a while. In case I popped my clogs, I had it written up properly by the solicitor, whereby under some sort of trust, the 20k looked to be lent form my ex to her mother and would be returned if my
Sensiblehead - 1-Jun-17 @ 8:26 PM
Dear relationship expert, Some what sadly (sense of failure), I have recently split form my partner of 24 years, we were not married. She developed an alchohol problem which has gotten out of hand resulting in me asking her to move out (not happy). We have lived together for over 20 of those, firstly, in her solely owned "smaller" house, which she still owned and was rented ( and has now moved back into). Then for the last 19 years in our current "bigger" house, wholly owned by myself, with all the deposit, mortgage and bills paid by me. We have 2 children who have chosen to stay in the "big" house. I say children, the eldest is 19 and the youngest 18 in a few weeks although both in full time education. I have been the main bread winner but my ex has always worked although she took opportunity to make personal lifestyle work choices. My ex always treated her original home as her asset, taking money via an additional mortgage to start a business ( not the one referred to below), even though I was against. I have always saved and reduced my mortgage with on eye on needing to fund my daughters education, something my ex never concerned her self with. Hence, she has very little in personal savings. Whilst I was always willing to share assets when we were together, I feel given her lifestyle choices I shouldn't have to sell my home or hand over my savings, some which were also inherited and some from a 25 yr savings plan. On an equity front, there is little doubt my personal assets via pension and this house are far greater. But she does have her own home, albeit with a mortgage which she hasn't had to pay for the past 20 years. There is also small buisness we started together 8 years ago, start up funded by me and now she has 100% of the shares in her name for tax reasons. I have accepted she will take this over, as it is effectively her living now. Can she have any claim on my house equity, pensions and savings? she keeps mentioning I need to settle with her, and a solicitor has said there would be implied trust, as I couldn't have paid the mortgage and saved if if wasn't for my ex working and helping with child care. This is a stretch of the true picture. The saving are not insignificant but a majority, around £50k, I have saved earmarking for my daughters education ( about 30k) and the rest as a start in life, I begrudge "robbing" the funds from my daughters pot, as there is only one who will replace it. There is one other issue, about 4 years ago I helped my ex's mother out as none of her 4 children wanted to. She wanted to move to a bungalow and due to bank austerity measures and age she couldn't get the 20k she needed on a mortgage. I agreed to lend £20k of the earmarked children's education money, on the basis is wouldn't be required for a while. In case I popped my clogs, I had it written up properly by the solicitor, whereby under some sort of trust, the 20k looked to be lent form my ex to her mother and would be returned if my
Sensiblehead - 1-Jun-17 @ 8:22 PM
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