Home > Ask Our Experts > Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 28 Mar 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My husband and i split up and seperated through 4 years ago. I bought her out of her share of the house+deposit as part of an agreement (no legal documentation). I couldnt take him off the mortgage at the time cos i didnt earn enough but could afford the payments and do so to this day. I can now take him off the mortgage but he is refusing as the house has now gone up in value and wants to force sale and take half the profit. Is this correct?
Jay - 28-Mar-17 @ 4:19 PM
Hi, Did you get a chance to look at my question- Posted By Julie H - 22-Mar-17 @ 1:35 PM? Thanks Hi,I purchased a house with my Ex-Husband in 2007 with a 6k deposit from the sale of my house. We separated in April 2010 and then divorced in June 2012. As the house at the time of the divorce was in negative equity there were no equity to divide. I have since he first left in April 2010 paid the mortgage on my own and now the house is approaching the point where there maybe equity in it. If I sold the house and there was a profit would he be entitled to anything asthere was no equity in the house when he left and he didn't pay towards the deposit? Also there is an unsecured loan attached to the mortage in our joint names which I have also paid since 2010. If I choose to settle this upon sale of the property will the payments I made come off the total balance or my half of the balance? Thanks in advance, Julie
Julie H - 24-Mar-17 @ 2:04 PM
JoeT- Your Question:
My ex girlfriend (of a few weeks) has been living in my house for 3.5 years & contributing to my mortgage & bills for 2 years (approx). She isn't council tax registered or voting registered in my property. She is still registered at her parents home locally. Is she legally entitled to any share in my property now we have split?

Our Response:
You don't say if you have any children, as this would make a difference as to whether your ex can have any claim to your property. Please see CAB link here which will tell you more.
RelationshipExpert - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:57 PM
My ex girlfriend (of a few weeks) has been living in my house for 3.5 years & contributing to my mortgage & bills for 2 years (approx). She isn't council tax registered or voting registered in my property. She is still registered at her parents home locally. Is she legally entitled to any share in my property now we have split?
JoeT - 24-Mar-17 @ 3:14 AM
Hi, I purchased a house with my Ex-Husband in 2007 with a 6k deposit from the sale of my house. We separated in April 2010 and then divorced in June 2012. As the house at the time of the divorce was in negative equity there were no equity to divide. I have since he first left in April 2010 paid the mortgage on my own and now the house is approaching the point where there maybe equity in it. If I sold the house and there was a profit would he be entitled to anything asthere was no equity in the house when he left and he didn't pay towards the deposit? Also there is an unsecured loan attached to the mortage in our joint names which I have also paid since 2010. If I choose to settle this upon sale of the property will the payments I made come off the total balance or my half of the balance? Thanks in advance, Julie
Julie H - 22-Mar-17 @ 1:35 PM
Theak - Your Question:
My ex husband and I bought a house in 1990 and put £20.000 deposit on it, we parted in 1996 and I kept the house, I was the sole owner. in 2002 my new partner we never married moved in with me I was the main earner and in 2007 we remortgaged. The property was in both names and worth £165.000 we have parted 3/9/2016 and he paid the mortgage in full until 1/2/17 it has been a interest only mortgage since 2007 and has now sold for 235.000. My ex partner wants 50% of the profit from the sale. Is he entitled to that much. I think he should get half the profit £35,000 - the original deposit of £20.000 We never had any children together, in 2006 I put into the relationship £70,000 from sale of my business.

Our Response:
If both names are on the mortgage then it's a 50/50 split. However, if you disagree then you may wish to see a financial arbitrator who will make a decision based upon both of your financial input. Legal advice may also help here.
RelationshipExpert - 21-Mar-17 @ 12:30 PM
My ex husband and i bought a house in 1990 and put £20.000 deposit on it, we parted in 1996 and i kept the house, i was the sole owner. in 2002 my new partner we never married moved in with me i was the main earnerand in 2007 we remortgaged. The property was in both names and worth £165.000 we have parted 3/9/2016 and he paid the mortgage in full until 1/2/17 it has been a interest only mortgage since 2007 and has now sold for 235.000. My ex partner wants 50% of the profit from the sale. Is he entitled to that much. I think he should get half the profit £35,000 - the original deposit of £20.000 We never had any children together, in 2006 i put into the relationship £70,000 from sale of my business.
Theak - 20-Mar-17 @ 5:47 PM
harvey - Your Question:
Hi I have been married for a little under 11 years. I have suffered domestic abuse which he was cautioned , then my daughter made a disclosure this year and he was removed by the police. I have contrubuted to all the bills over the years and we have a 10 year old daughter who he is now not allowed to see. he is not allowed by the house or by us or police have to be called. I have been paying the house payments since jan but my name not on the morgage he said he was going to sign house over to me but has now said no where do I stand ?

Our Response:
If your ex has promised to sign the house over to you and he has reneged on this, you would have to seek legal advice about taking the matter to court
RelationshipExpert - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:13 PM
hi i have been married for a little under 11 years . i have suffered domestic abuse which he was cautioned , then my daughter made a disclosure this year and he was removed by the police. i have contrubuted to all the bills over the years and we have a 10 year old daughter who he is now not allowed to see. he is not allowed by the house or by us or police have to be called . i have been paying the house payments since jan but my name not on the morgage he said he was going to sign house over to me but has now said no where do i stand ?
harvey - 15-Mar-17 @ 6:03 PM
@Charlie - If your ex has never contributed then the most he can expect is his deposit back!
Jo - 10-Mar-17 @ 2:16 PM
I bought my house with my ex partner in 2009 - he paid £2000 towards the deposit and stayed just under a year paying half towards the mortgage during this time. He left 7yrs ago now and hasn't made a single contribution towards the mortgage since. If I sold, would he be entitled to much?
Charlie - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:37 AM
Molly - Your Question:
Am I entitled to any money from a house I lived in 27yrs ago with my partner and father of my children my name is on mortgage and still is I left 27years ago can I force him to sell

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this.
RelationshipExpert - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:21 AM
Am i entitled to any money from a house i lived in 27yrs ago with my partner and father of my children my name is on mortgage and still is i left 27years ago can i force him to sell
Molly - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:35 AM
Amy - Your Question:
I split up from my ex husband in 2002 and we divorced in 2003. He never responded to any financial arrangements or mediation so we divorced without a financial settlement. Since 2002 I have paid the joint mortgage in our names without any assistance from him. He now wants money from the house. What will I have to pay him.

Our Response:
You may wish to seek legal advice regarding this. Much depends upon how much he invested in the house at the outset and how long you were married etc. However, if you have been paying the mortgage since, then it would be taken into consideration via arbitration or court.
RelationshipExpert - 8-Mar-17 @ 11:59 AM
I split up from my ex husband in 2002 and we divorced in 2003. He never responded to any financial arrangements or mediation so we divorced without a financial settlement.Since 2002 I have paid the joint mortgage in our names without any assistance from him. He now wants money from the house. What will I have to pay him.
Amy - 7-Mar-17 @ 2:38 PM
TT - Your Question:
Thank you for your response. My ex partner was in the property for just over 12 months before we split up and he moved out. So I guess he could argue that he as paid in to the mortgage for that amount of time. Besides that he as paid nothing to the mortgage since moving out. We paid a joint deposit on the mortgage from our joint account of around £6,500 so again I guess he could argue he as paid half towards this. I agree he seems to be being awkward instead of sorting this out. I do not want this to go to court. If he forces it to go to court will I then have to pay court costs? Or half?Many Thanks,

Our Response:
When it comes to deciding which party should pay the costs of an application or of the whole proceedings, it is generally at the discretion of the court. The general rule is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party. However, there are some exceptions. Your solicitor will be able to advise more regarding what your next option should be. As advised in the previous post, a letter re-iterating such repercusions if your ex doesn't sign might do the trick. It sounds to me as though he is wanting to drag it out to the last, and such a letter may jolt him into action, especially if he thinks he may have to incur extra costs on the back of a court case. I hope this helps.
RelationshipExpert - 1-Mar-17 @ 2:18 PM
Thank you for your response. My ex partner was in the property for just over 12 months before we split up and he moved out. So I guess he could argue that he as paid in to the mortgage for that amount of time. Besides that he as paid nothing to the mortgage since moving out. We paid a joint deposit on the mortgage from our joint account of around £6,500 so again I guess he could argue he as paid half towards this. I agree he seems to be being awkward instead of sorting this out. I do not want this to go to court. If he forces it to go to court will I then have to pay court costs? Or half? Many Thanks,
TT - 1-Mar-17 @ 7:54 AM
TT - Your Question:
I split with my ex partner 15 years ago and he moved out we were not married. Since then I have continued to pay the the mortgage even though interest only as I was left with the two children and repayment was a lot for me to pay, they are grown up now. I have been approved for a re mortgage in my own right and want him removed from the mortgage and it is being dealt with by my solicitor.It seems he is stalling a little now with the correspondence that as been sent to him from my solicitors asking him to make arrangements to sign the relevant paperwork and I believe he feels he is entitled to half as I know this from previous conversations in the past.Is this the case? Is he really entitled to anything. I do not think he thought I would be in a position to re mortgage and truly believe he was waiting for my youngest to turn 18 next year and think he would have approached the mortgage provider to pay off the mortgage himself and get me out. He has lived at his parents for the last 15 years rent free so of course as certainly saved up enough money. The original mortgage was £58,000 but worth a lot more now.My solicitor doesn't seem worried and assured me it's all in my favour. I've struggled to keep this property with no help and just want to know where I stand.Please help?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely your ex would be entitled to anything from the house if you have been paying the mortgage for 15 years. You don't say whether he contributed to the house financially in the beginning and may be looking to retrieve this money. If you feel he is stalling because of this reason, you may ask that your solicitor send a letter re-iterating yours and his rights. On the other hand, it may be that your ex is just being awkward, if so then next stage is court.
RelationshipExpert - 27-Feb-17 @ 11:04 AM
I split with my ex partner 15 years ago and he moved out we were not married. Since then I have continued to pay the the mortgage even though interest only as I was left with the two children and repayment was a lot for me to pay, they are grown up now. I have been approved for a re mortgage in my own right and want him removed from the mortgage and it is being dealt with by my solicitor. It seems he is stalling a little now with the correspondence that as been sent to him from my solicitors asking him to make arrangements to sign the relevant paperwork and I believe he feels he is entitled to half as I know this from previous conversations in the past. Is this the case? Is he really entitled to anything. I do not think he thought I would be in a position to re mortgage and truly believe he was waiting for my youngest to turn 18 next year and think he would have approached the mortgage provider to pay off the mortgage himself and get me out. He has lived at his parents for the last 15 years rent free so of course as certainly saved up enough money. The original mortgage was £58,000 but worth a lot more now. My solicitor doesn't seem worried and assured me it's all in my favour. I've struggled to keep this property with no help and just want to know where I stand. Please help?
TT - 26-Feb-17 @ 9:49 AM
I split with my ex partner 15 years ago and he moved out we were not married. Since then I have continued to pay the the mortgage even though interest only as I was left with the two children and repayment was a lot for me to pay, they are grown up now. I have been approved for a re mortgage in my own right and want him removed from the mortgage and it is being dealt with by my solicitor. It seems he is stalling a little now with the correspondence that as been sent to him from my solicitors asking him to make arrangements to sign the relevant paperwork and I believe he feels he is entitled to half as I know this from previous conversations in the past. Is this the case? Is he really entitled to anything. I do not think he thought I would be in a position to re mortgage and truly believe he was waiting for my youngest to turn 18 next year and think he would have approached the mortgage provider to pay off the mortgage himself and get me out. He has lived at his parents for the last 15 years rent free so of course as certainly saved up enough money. The original mortgage was £58,000 but worth a lot more now. My solicitor doesn't seem worried and assured me it's all in my favour. I've struggled to keep this property with no help and just want to know where I stand. Please help?
TT - 25-Feb-17 @ 1:40 PM
I split with my ex partner 15 years ago and he moved out we were not married. Since then I have continued to pay the the mortgage even though interest only as I was left with the two children and repayment was a lot for me to pay, they are grown up now. I have been approved for a re mortgage in my own right and want him removed from the mortgage and it is being dealt with by my solicitor. It seems he is stalling a little now with the correspondence that as been sent to him from my solicitors asking him to make arrangements to sign the relevant paperwork and I believe he feels he is entitled to half as I know this from previous conversations in the past. Is this the case? Is he really entitled to anything. I do not think he thought I would be in a position to re mortgage and truly believe he was waiting for my youngest to turn 18 next year and think he would have approached the mortgage provider to pay off the mortgage himself and get me out. He has lived at his parents for the last 15 years rent free so of course as certainly saved up enough money. The original mortgage was £58,000 but worth a lot more now. My solicitor doesn't seem worried and assured me it's all in my favour. I've struggled to keep this property with no help and just want to know where I stand. Please help?
TT - 25-Feb-17 @ 1:15 PM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the RelationshipExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.