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Is my Ex Entitled to a Percentage of the House?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 11 Aug 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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Zebra - Your Question:
My question is, I bought a house in 2007 with an ex-girlfriend, she only lived in the property with me for approximately 7 months. I kept the house and have paid the mortgage, never missed a payment. I tried to get her to sign a transfer of equity document, which she would not sign.Since I have got married and have to children, I went self employed 3 and a half years ago so have over the last few months been sorting the mortgage, which she wanted to do and we have spoken, with her stating she just wants out. She is not returning any of calls or text messages, I do know that she has received the. What rights has she got when she never paid a single penny towards the mortgage ever, and has not even lived there for 10 years.We where not married or had kids children.

Our Response:
If your ex wants out, then it is in her best interests to try to resolve this matter. If she continues to ignore you, your only way to resolve the matter would be through court (which will cost you both). It is likely, if you have paid the mortgage for 10 years then the house will revert to you. One option would be to offer her the money back that she put into it i.e; a deposit (if she helped contribute).
RelationshipExpert - 13-Aug-18 @ 10:32 AM
My question is, I bought a house in 2007 with an ex-girlfriend, she only lived in the property with me for approximately 7 months. I kept the house and have paid the mortgage, never missed a payment. I tried to get her to sign a transfer of equity document, which she would not sign. Since I have got married and have to children, I went self employed 3 and a half years ago so have over the last few months been sorting the mortgage, which she wanted to do and we have spoken, with her stating she just wants out. She is not returning any of calls or text messages, I do know that she has received the. What rights has she got when she never paid a single penny towards the mortgage ever, and has not even lived there for 10 years. We where not married or had kids children.
Zebra - 11-Aug-18 @ 5:16 PM
Lefrog - Your Question:
My partner is still married but they have not lived together for about 5 years. They have 2 children from the marriage (1 aged 15, 1 aged 13) and 1 older child of hers from a previous relationship who is now 24years old (My partner did not adopt her when he was married to her mum). He owns a house of which the mortgage is solely on his name,and only he makes mortgage payments. Is she entitled to anything if he either sells, or is she entitled to anything if he passes away? Next dilemma is his previous partner before me is named on his will in that in the event of his death, she is entitled to live at the property at the agreement of the oldest child (the 24 year old). Does this allow her any entitlement to the property?

Our Response:
Yes, she is (if they are married and have children). Even if the property is in one name, marriage means the property becomes jointly-owned. However, much depends upon the length of their marriage and the fact they have children together which will determine the financial split. Just because he pays the mortgage, it doesn't guarantee him a larger slice, especially if his ex is bringing up and caring for his children.
RelationshipExpert - 26-Jul-18 @ 3:07 PM
Petra - Your Question:
I've got a joint mortgage with my former partner best friend. After few years we have separated. My former partner is not on the mortgage but he's demanding money money from me after selling the house. I have to say that we bought the house in 2006 and in 2008 I took a personal lown of£50.000 from the same mortgage company and we used the money to buy a second property under my partner's name. He sold the house,he took all the profits and now he's expecting the share the profit from selling the house bought under my name and his friend's name.Please let me know if he's legally entitled for any money I make from selling the property bought when we were together?he'd name is not on the mortgage. Thank you so much!

Our Response:
If your ex's name is not on the property, but he is financially involved then he can register a beneficial interest in the property if there was some kind of implied agreement in place. If he hasn't done this and the sale is going through and you do not intend to pay him and perceived money owed, then his only recourse would be to try to claim through court. The court would then decide what it thinks fair. It will also take into consideration the other property where you did not gain any money.
RelationshipExpert - 26-Jul-18 @ 1:53 PM
I've got a joint mortgage with my former partner best friend. After few years we have separated.My former partner is not on the mortgage but he's demanding money money from me after selling the house. I have to say that we bought the house in 2006 and in 2008 I took a personal lown of£50.000 from the same mortgage company and we used the money to buy a second property under my partner's name. He sold the house,he took all the profits and now he's expecting the share the profit from selling the house bought under my name and his friend's name. Please let me know if he's legally entitled for any money I make from selling the property bought when we were together?he'd name is not on the mortgage. Thank you so much!
Petra - 25-Jul-18 @ 7:22 AM
My partner is still married but they have not lived together for about 5 years.They have 2 children from the marriage (1 aged 15, 1 aged 13) and 1 older child of hers from a previous relationship who is now 24years old (My partner did not adopt her when he was married to her mum).He owns a house of which the mortgage is solely on his name,and only he makes mortgage payments.Is she entitled to anything if he either sells, or is she entitled to anything if he passes away? Next dilemma is his previous partner before me is named on his will in that in the event of his death, she is entitled to live at the property at the agreement of the oldest child (the 24 year old).Does this allow her any entitlement to the property?
Lefrog - 24-Jul-18 @ 9:55 PM
I have lived with my Partner for 13 years. She owns the property and there is no mortgage or debt . I have a paid and maintained the house and also all the bills food ect ECT.. She has no income what so ever and has no benefits just living on my wage... After 13 years we have decided to call it a day... What are my entitlements please....
Fast one - 23-Jul-18 @ 1:48 PM
Paula - Your Question:
Divorcing after 12 years, 2 children aged 6 and 8, we both work full time and contribute fairly equally. Initial discussion suggests he will not dispute us staying in the family home until kids are at school but then wants to sell house 50-50. He will be seeing kids every other weekendDespite me becoming the main carer I will need to remain working fulll time as he will not be paying half of our current expenses meaning the financial burden on me will be higher. I have two main questions- can I request that he pays at least half or more as I need to reduce at least to 4 days to meet their needs- if the kids are not living at 18, should the sale of the family home be even up for discussion, let alone 50-50 - they will be dependent on us (or me as the main carer) for life.my husband does not want shared custody and I have agreed he can be with the kids in the house on his weekends (i will look to go somewhere which will add to the expense, but the disruption for them will be too much otherwise)any advice will be much appreciated as we have mediation coming up and I am not sure how to approach - it all seems so much more complex with both our kids being disabled

Our Response:
There are no real rules to financial separation. If you can, the best way is to try to resolve your financial issues together keeping your kids best interests at heart. If you cannot agree between you, then mediation is the next option for you both to consider (which you are). With regards to long term needs, then either you decide between you or via mediation, otherwise you would have the option to take the matter to court for the court to decide.
RelationshipExpert - 12-Jul-18 @ 11:12 AM
Divorcing after 12 years, 2 children aged 6 and 8, we both work full time and contribute fairly equally. Initial discussion suggests he will not dispute us staying in the family home until kids are at school but then wants to sell house 50-50. He will be seeing kids every other weekend Despite me becoming the main carer I will need to remain working fulll time as he will not be paying half of our current expenses meaning the financial burden on me will be higher. I have two main questions - can I request that he pays at least half or more as I need to reduce at least to 4 days to meet their needs - if the kids are not living at 18, should the sale of the family home be even up for discussion, let alone 50-50 -they will be dependent on us (or me as the main carer) for life. my husband does not want shared custody and i have agreed he can be with the kids in the house on his weekends (i will look to go somewhere which will add to the expense, but the disruption for them will be too much otherwise) any advice will be much appreciated as we have mediation coming up and i am not sure how to approach - it all seems so much more complex with both our kids being disabled
Paula - 10-Jul-18 @ 11:38 PM
Leeroy - Your Question:
I have owned my house for a couple of years now.I was engaged to my ex partner a few months ago and due to get married but I wasn't happy and have called it all off and we separated.She is now claiming she put £15k into the house renovations, furniture and belongings etc.She isn't on the deeds to the house and not the mortgage either. We took out a JOINT loan of £25k for the wedding.I have said I will take care of the loan fully and I gave her £10,000 when she left.She is now claiming I owe her more. DO I?considering I am paying for the whole of the loan which we both signed up to? I have also let her take her friend take my place on our pre booked honeymoon

Our Response:
Unless your ex can prove she spent £15K on renovations then she would not have any recourse through the courts.
RelationshipExpert - 26-Jun-18 @ 12:58 PM
I have owned my house for a couple of years now.I was engaged to my ex partner a few months ago and due to get married but i wasn't happy and have called it all off and we separated.She is now claiming she put £15k into the house renovations, furniture and belongings etc.She isn't on the deeds to the house and not the mortgage either. We took out a JOINT loan of £25k for the wedding.I have said i will take care of the loan fully and i gave her £10,000 when she left.She is now claiming i owe her more. DO I?considering i am paying for the whole of the loan which we both signed up to? I have also let her take her friend take my place on our pre booked honeymoon
Leeroy - 25-Jun-18 @ 7:44 PM
Natasha - Your Question:
My partner and I purchased a property in Nov 2004. A year to the date he moved out. I haven't seen or heard from him since and he has paid nothing toward the mortgage (except his half in that first year).I'm aware that to sell the property now, I need his approval but how can I achieve this if I don't know exactly where he is and if I sell, is he really entitled to anything after not paying for the last 14yrs?We were never married. We didn't have any legal binding agreement that documented what would happen if we split. He just upped and left one day. I know he is married and his now wife, had two children from a previous relationship but I don't know if they have had any more together. I don't have an endless supply of money to pay for lawyers or solicitors so don't really know what I can do?

Our Response:
If your partner's name is on the mortgage, then you would have to locate him in order to sell. There are many ways of tracing a person. If you cannot find your ex via family, mutual friends, social media etc. Otherwise, you could use a tracing agent which have access to extensive databases including government records and credit bureau files. It's unlikely your ex would be entitled to anything unless he put in a significant deposit. Therefore, finding him first and trying to come to a mutual agreement or mediation would be less costly than taking the matter to court.
RelationshipExpert - 25-Jun-18 @ 10:13 AM
My partner and I purchased a property in Nov 2004. A year to the date he moved out. I haven't seen or heard from him since and he has paid nothing toward the mortgage (except his half in that first year). I'm aware that to sell the property now, I need his approval but how can I achieve this if I don't know exactly where he is and if I sell, is he really entitled to anything after not paying for the last 14yrs? We were never married. We didn't have any legal binding agreement that documented what would happen if we split. He just upped and left one day. I know he is married and his now wife, had two children from a previous relationship but I don't know if they have had any more together. I don't have an endless supply of money to pay for lawyers or solicitors so don't really know what I can do?
Natasha - 24-Jun-18 @ 2:31 AM
I have owned my house for a couple of years now.I was engaged to my ex partner a few months ago and due to get married but i wasn't happy and have called it all off and we separated.She is now claiming she put £15k into the house renovations, furniture and belongings etc.She isn't on the deeds to the house and not the mortgage either. We took out a JOINT loan of £25k for the wedding.I have said i will take care of the loan fully and i gave her £10,000 when she left.She is now claiming i owe her more. DO I?considering i am paying for the whole of the loan which we both signed up to? I have also let her take her friend take my place on our pre booked honeymoon
Leeroy - 23-Jun-18 @ 9:14 AM
Magoo - Your Question:
Can he still request the money back even though he is not on any mortgage or deeds and has never lived at the property?

Our Response:
As said in the previous reply, much will depend upon the reasons why he put money into your house i.e if it was towards the deposit and he intended to live there but it didn't work out, then of course he will naturally want his money back. Your ex certainly has the right to request the money back if he can prove the money was not a gift. If your ex decides to take the matter to court, then this will cost if you wish to challenge it, as court costs and legal fees can certainly mount up. Trying to come to a mutual agreement or one through mediation will serve you much better. However, if you think you have a case, you may wish to seek legal advice, as this will help clarify your questions further.
RelationshipExpert - 12-Jun-18 @ 10:47 AM
Can he still request the money back even though he is not on any mortgage or deeds and has never lived at the property?
Magoo - 11-Jun-18 @ 2:32 PM
Magoo - Your Question:
My partner has just left me after 11 years.He put £40k into the property when we first met and I put his name on the mortgage but we made no written agreements about what would happen if we separated.He has never lived at the property and eventually I remortgaged when he had financial difficulties and removed his name from the mortgage and deeds.He is now wanting his money back and I am not in a position to do this.Is he entitled to the money back?

Our Response:
Your partner is entitled to request his money back if he put money into the house. However, much depends on other circumstances, i.e as mentioned in the article if you have children together it would make a difference. You can see more about via the CAB link here . If your partner wishes to push the matter, then legal advice would be advised. Trying to avoid court by coming to a mutual agreement would be in both your best interests, as court can be costly.
RelationshipExpert - 11-Jun-18 @ 9:52 AM
My partner has just left me after 11 years. He put £40k into the property when we first met and I put his name on the mortgage but we made no written agreements about what would happen if we separated. He has never lived at the property and eventually I remortgaged when he had financial difficulties and removed his name from the mortgage and deeds. He is now wanting his money back and I am not in a position to do this. Is he entitled to the money back?
Magoo - 10-Jun-18 @ 4:55 PM
Abula - Your Question:
Hi I moved I to my husband's house which he shared with his now ex wife for 5 yrs, she upped and left the property trashing it on her way out so my husband had to do lots of repairs she took her 2 children and moved in with her new partner, her name is not on the deeds as far as I'm aware and it's my husband's name that has always been on the mortgage nobody else's, I have lived in this house for 8 yrs now paying bills etc and maintenance for one of the children as the other child has lived with us for almost 7 yrs and we have never had a penny from her. We decided to sell our house and it had sold , now she is saying she wants a share in the sale of the house, can this be right. It's really upsetting to know that all I put into this house she now wants in her bank. Thanks would appreciate it if anyone could help please

Our Response:
If the house is co-owned (through marriage - regardless of whose name is on the mortgage/deeds) and your husband's ex-wife wishes to take the matter to court, the court would look at how long the marriage lasted and whether there were children involved and when the house was purchased and with what money. Your husband may wish to seek legal advice in order to clarify this.
RelationshipExpert - 8-Jun-18 @ 12:00 PM
Hi I moved I to my husband's house which he shared with his now ex wife for 5 yrs, she upped and left the property trashing it on her way out so my husband had to do lots of repairs she took her 2 children and moved in with her new partner, her name is not on the deeds as far as I'm aware and it's my husband's name that has always been on the mortgage nobody else's, I have lived in this house for 8 yrs now paying bills etc and maintenance for one of the children as the other child has lived with us for almost 7 yrs and we have never had a penny from her. We decided to sell our house and it had sold , now she is saying she wants a share in the sale of the house, can this be right. It's really upsetting to know that all I put into this house she now wants in her bank . Thanks would appreciate it if anyone could help please
Abula - 7-Jun-18 @ 8:29 PM
Hi im about to start the buying a house process i have recently split with the mother of my 3 children when i found out she was seeing an ex we are not married and used to live in the same rented accomodation can she still claim anything on the house im about to buy i am purchasing the house to leave my 3 children when i pass away so they have something to live in / make money out of when they are all ready to sell ..... i am going to be the sole proprietor any information would be great thanks
Joey 5 - 5-Jun-18 @ 7:41 PM
Hels - Your Question:
My ex partner moved in 5yrs ago. I have owned the house since 1994, in my name only. It is my family home. We never married, as I later discovered he was bankrupt when he moved in, and I became concerned about my finances. He turned out to be an alcholic and is now moving back to his Mums. He did pay me money per month for the bills. Can he claim half my house or the equity in it etc.

Our Response:
If you were not married and you own the house, then your ex cannot claim.
RelationshipExpert - 31-May-18 @ 2:45 PM
i left my husband 15 years ago i took my name off the deeds i have never payed any moneys towards the mortgage am i in titled to anything now and if so would it be based on todays house price or that of 15 years ago ? many thanks
binky - 29-May-18 @ 5:38 PM
My ex partner moved in 5yrs ago. I have owned the house since 1994, in my name only. It is my family home. We never married, as I later discovered he was bankrupt when he moved in, and I became concerned about my finances. He turned out to be an alcholic and is now moving back to his Mums. He did pay me money per month for the bills. Can he claim half my house or the equity in it etc.
Hels - 29-May-18 @ 10:43 AM
Kedg - Your Question:
My mum left my dad in 1980, and didn't give my dad any money for our (myself, 8, and my older brothers) upkeep, or towards the house or bills. They had the mortgage for only a couple of years when she left. She is still named on the deeds of the property, my dad paid this off himself. She has since remarried but never changed her name on the deeds. Would she be entitled to anything when my dad passes??

Our Response:
Your mum may have a claim. However, much would depend upon the circumstances which would have to be decided by court if she wished to challenge it. If the marriage was short and your mum never contributed to the house, then it is unlikely. Your mum would not be able to claim on the fact your father never paid child maintenance. Child maintenance is based on earnings, not assets.
RelationshipExpert - 30-Apr-18 @ 11:45 AM
My mum left my dad in 1980, and didn't give my dad any money for our (myself, 8, and my older brothers) upkeep, or towards the house or bills. They had the mortgage for only a couple of years when she left.She is still named on the deeds of the property, my dad paid this off himself. She has since remarried but never changed her name on the deeds. Would she be entitled to anything when my dad passes??
Kedg - 29-Apr-18 @ 3:46 PM
Heather - Your Question:
I lived with my partner for 4 years in my rented home. We then bought a house on shared equity in his name. I paid the mortgage fee and paid half of the mortgage and bills for the 3 years I lived with him. l also paid for all the food and items for the children. We were only married for 9 months when I left the family home. During the divorce he has denied that I paid anything and refuses to pay me a settlement. He has refused mediation. I can not afford to go to court. Is there anything that can help me. I have all bank records but without going to court I feel im going to leave with nothing but debt. There are 2 children involved. My parents also lent him money which he is refusing to pay back. How do I end this divorce without a financial settlement. He made himself a fulltime student so that he did not have to pay maintenance and so that he wouldn't lose the home. I just want this stress to be over.

Our Response:
If you are married, but not on the title deeds you can still have a claim on the house, particularly if you can prove your parents gave money towards the home and you have invested in it, plus if you have children together. It’s a good idea to register your ‘matrimonial home rights’ online. This means you’ll be told if your ex tries to sell the house or the mortgage lender tries to repossess it. You may even be able to get an occupation order if you do not have an alternative place to live and you are the primary carer of your children. However, all of this would need to be decided in court. When it comes to a situation such as this, the court will always decide on what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. If you self-litigate in court, it will save you on any costly legal fees, please see link here . Getting as much information beforehand regarding your rights, will be of help in court. If you can get some free advice from a solicitor or pay for some legal advice, or use the Citizens Advice Bureau, it's worth it. Likewise, if you are on a low income, you may get a reduction in court fees, please see link here. In such a case, going to court may be more beneficial than letting things ride, as it is the welfare of your children and you as the primary carer that a court will put first and foremost when making any decision regarding the house. Many primary carers are given permission to stay in the house until the children leave full-time education regardless of who is named on the deeds. Or if you do not wish to live in the house and there is equity in it, regardless of your ex being the only person named on the deeds, the court can force a sale.
RelationshipExpert - 27-Apr-18 @ 10:59 AM
I lived with my partner for 4 years in my rented home. We then bought a house on shared equity in his name. I paid the mortgage fee and paid half of the mortgage and bills for the 3 years I lived with him. l also paid for all the food and items for the children. We were only married for 9 months when I left the family home. During the divorce he has denied that I paid anything and refuses to pay me a settlement. He has refused mediation. I can not afford to go to court. Is there anything that can help me. I have all bank records but without going to court I feel im going to leave with nothing but debt. There are 2 children involved. My parents also lent him money which he is refusing to pay back. How do I end this divorce without a financial settlement. He made himself a fulltime student so that he did not have to pay maintenance and so that he wouldn't lose the home. I just want this stress to be over.
Heather - 26-Apr-18 @ 2:26 PM
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
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