Rights for Unmarried Couples

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What You Need to Know

  1. There are more than four million unmarried couples living together in the UK, many of who do not realise the limits of their rights.
  2. There is no such thing in English law as a ‘common law’ wife or husband. Cohabiting couples and their families have far fewer rights than people who are married or in a civil partnership.
  3. For example, unmarried couples have no rights to their partner’s property if they split up.
  4. In such a couple, only the mother has an automatic parental repsonsibility to the children, unless the father registers the birth jointly with the mother.
  5. Whilst there is no inheritance tax to be paid on anything bequeathed between a married couple, this is not true for unmarried partners.

Living Together Vs Marriage

More and more people are choosing to live together, buy property together and have children without getting married. In fact, according to official statistics, there are more than four million couples living together in England and Wales alone. But what happens if these couples split up? While unmarried parents are involved in three out of four family breakdowns, this huge social shift has not been followed by any significant changes in the law.

Note that there is no such thing in English law as a ‘common law wife’ (or husband). Many couples wrongly believe that they will automatically qualify for some protection under the law if their relationship breaks down. But their relationship with one another is not recognised as having any legal standing, and they have no special status in the eyes of the English legal system. The law effectively treats them as separate individuals with no rights or liabilities to each other if the relationship ends.

For such couples, this has far-reaching consequences for their home, their children and their finances, though there are certain measures you can take to minimise financial and legal problems if you and your partner end up separating.

The Home

Unlike married couples, unmarried couples have no basic rights to their partner's property or to maintenance if they split up. Basically what is his is his, what is hers is hers, and what is jointly-owned needs to be divided.

If a house is bought in joint names, it should be split accordingly on separation, and either party can force a sale of the property to realise their share. If the parties are contributing unequally to the purchase price, or to payments on the property, for example if he is paying 70% and she is paying 30%, this should be reflected in the amounts they take away with them.

If the property is in the sole name of one party, it remains that person's property on separation, unless the other party can establish that there was an intention that they would be entitled to a share in the property. Proving this can cause much stress, expense and frustration.


The mother is the only adult who has any automatic rights in respect of the couple’s children. She alone will have parental responsibility for them, which covers all aspects of their welfare and upbringing. However since December 2003 an unmarried father can acquire similar rights if he registers the birth of the child jointly with the mother.

If an unmarried couple split up, the mother will automatically have the right to look after her child, and the father could not challenge her unless they have entered into a Parental Responsibility Agreement or he has a court order in his favour.


If one of the couple dies intestate, i.e. without having made a will, their estate will pass to their immediate family (except their house if they own it together).

An unmarried partner will not even be entitled to administer the deceased partner's estate, as they are not related.


Unmarried couples have no rights to each other’s pension if one of them dies, and for inheritance tax purposes the taxman treats them as individuals even if they have been together for years and hold their assets in joint names. While there is no inheritance tax between husband and wife, if one unmarried partner dies, all their estate above £325,000 will be taxed at a rate of 40% (with the inheritance tax threshold correct as of 2012).

Further Reading

  • For more information on your rights as part of a married couple, a cohabiting couple or a civil partnership, visit DirectGov.
  • The fatherhood institute has more about the ins and outs of legal parental responsibility.
  • Read our guide to writing a will and make sure your loved ones will be provided for should you pass away.
167 comments - Want to comment on this article? Click here
jane jane

me and my partner bought a mortgage together, and i made a loan in order to pay huge deposit for it. he was liable for monthly instalments. we're unmarried. now we were focrced to sell as he was not paying. Pity is that we managed to repay back the money owed to bank, unfortunately wenever reveived my deposit. now i'm left with loans that needs be paid and he refused to contribute. i believe we agreed on those loans though no written agreement. i want him to pay half of the loan amounts as the debt was incurred in the interest of both partners wanting to have a home,

AcidAnnie AcidAnnie

My boyfriend passed away 2 months ago, I am pregnant with his child. The police have his phone which is actually in my mother's name.. I only want the phone back as it contains all photos of me and him and I have only a few bad quality ones left on my own phone. His brother is next of kin and the police say he will get the phone and all photos, his family are refusing to have anything to do with me. I have discovered I am pregnant and now wonder where I stand on being able to claim the phone or the photos? Can somebody please help?

Aj Aj


I have been with my partner for 13 years and when we got together he had just bought a house which we both moved into and over the years have refurbished from a blank canvas. Much of the materials and workmanship being provided by me. There is no Mortgage on the property as he bought it outright, but all the bills are in joint names and come out of a joint account. Do I have any rights if we were to go our seperate ways?

He has always maintained to everybody that it is "our" house but I know on paper it isn't. We have been engaged for a while but never manage to secure the wedding bit, I think he knows my rights would change and why holding back.

Stephen Stephen

I live with my partner and co own our home with her.We are inevitably going to split up,but i have custody of my two children aged 12 and 15 and all my money is tied up within a bussiness that we own together and the property. I cannot stay here any longer as the relationship has turned nasty and my children often feel frightened,but what help is there for me.
I feel trapped and controlled as she controls all our finances and could freeze me out with the click of a button.

chantelle chantelle

Hi there,
Im in such utter turmoil at the moment I have no idea where to turn.
I was in a severely abusive relationship with a guy for around 15 years, I gave him 4 beautiful children. initially we lived in a council house in his name and on the odd occasion he would throw us out here and there. he eventually went on to buy it and promised to put he house in the childrens names as he is 20 yrs older than me and the house is the only thing he has for them since he has never paid child support.
me and my children were placed in temporary accommodation due to further abuse sexually physically and mentally to myself.
we are currently living in an absolute dump in a separate town from the kids school ( which is 2 mins from he house they were born in) it has mice, its not a nice to live without going on.
he does not live in the kids house anymore he lives far away with his sister and refuses to let me and the kids move back into the house because I am on benefits and he likes to collect the rent from the house. I have to pay £75 per week from my benefits just to get the children to school. does anyone know of any rule or something that could allow me and the children to move back into the house, I dont care about equity or making anything out of him I just need to be in suitable accommodation near to the kids school and the children they know, we are currently alone and know nobody in this area, im absolutely depressed and do not know what to do as he is adimant he is not letting us move back in, even tho I allow him to come and see the kids and stay with them whenever he chooses still without child support.
please any advice would be so appreciated x

Chelsea Chelsea


My mum passed away and her partner (not married) will not let me take my dog.

My mum bought me a chihuahua in 2008 when i still lived at home with her and this man. The dog has a microchip, which is registered to me, and it has always been understood that the dog was bought for me. I have learnt that my mum used his money to buy the dog for me. Any vets bills etc will be in my mums name. Nothing is in his name for the dog.

Since finding out that my mum was ill (cancer) I agreed to 'share' the dog with my mum. Basically she left this man for a while so we lived together elsewhere with the dog, when she found iut she was ill she wet back and i moved elsewhere, so i agreed to share to make her happy, the dog was still registered to me though.

Now that my mum has passed away he will not allow me to go and get the dog. What are the facts here and how can i get her back?


angel angel

Hi ive been with my partner six years living with him four. I have children by my ex who died three years ago. When I was first in relationship my partner showed commitment by the children and I changing our last names to his and getting engaged. Since however he does not seem to want to get married. I am not out to fleece him I would leave with just my kids if it came to it. He owns his own home outright... he does not have a will and he is several years older than me. I have descussed with him that if we were to marry that I would sign documents with a clause stating that the property was his all I worry about is if something was to happen to my partner that I would be left out in the cold because he refuses to write down his intentions. His next of kin would be his mother who we never see she is very funny and not very excepting of me and kids when I have always paid my own way and never took advantage of my partner. My partner is very loving to my kids he does everything a father should and more but I am finding it very demoralising that he won't facd the issie of if something happens to him what will happen to us his family.. If hes not into marriage why propose and not to write a will to include us is rediculous to live it all to chance knowing his mother does not approve. Its seriously knocking my confidence as I know I have no rights in a home I live in and contribute to.

James James

Hi there,

my partner of 10 years has just broken up with me last September/October. He met someone else, and actually, has been cheating on me behind my back for the last 3 years (or so I have been finding out).
Where things are getting complicated is that we own 2 businesses together. One which I invested ca £35,000 from an inheritance and another where I have invested over 40k. On the first business, he and our former business partner took out a loan from the bank which my investment in the company was used to repay the loan (against my wishes) when she exited the company. The second sum of money comes from my investment in the current company which we both work in.
Not to put too fine a point on it, I've been fleeced of my cash. I've been manipulated into giving him what he wanted when I could have got away clean if he'd not been so damn dishonest. My ex has used my money to rebirth his career which was going down the pan by using my cash to start his company. Had I had any inkling that he meant to leave me as soon as the company became established I would have never leant /invested a penny. I understand that I have no claim on his property (the flat belongs to him alone). Having never paid him rent (I always paid bills in his name and bought our food) do I have any rights whatsoever? Can he just take my money and throw me out on the street making me homeless? He knows (I RUN the company where he now works) that I don't earn enough to survive on my own - barely £800 per month - as I'm deliberately not paying myself highly so that the company has a chance of working. All the furniture in the property is mine, we share the dogs together (3 of them). I have recently discovered that for the entire length of our relationship (and for 2 years prior) he has been committing benefit fraud (working and claiming), he's also told me about a "bank error" made in his favour of several thousand which he's spent - having waited a year to see if the bank noticed.
He's got credit card debts of £50,000, has managed to ruin my credit rating as we have a joint account which he ran the overdraft up to beyond the permitted excess.
What are my options here?
Sit there and take it or fight back?

tom tom

me and my ex with a boy 3 split up nearly 2 years ago, my parents paid the deposit and first months rent of £1100, before our split i moved out and she stayed in the flat, we then split and she said she couldent afford to pay any of it back. she has since moved out and said the landlord took the whole deposit of £550, are my parents entiled to any of their money back?

Wendy Carroll Wendy Carroll

My daughter partner left her for another woman 2 years ago after 12 year relationship they have 2 children now 6 expartner going to court in feb 2014 to have the house sold at the moment the house in both names although his mother paid most of the mortgage off before she died can he force my daughter to sell or stop her from moving to another area because my daughter would not be able to buy another property in the area with her half or would she be able o live in the house till children become of age 18

Loiuse Loiuse

My mother recently passed away. Her Will (unseen by me) leaves her home to her unmarried partner (and vice versa if he had passed first) and then on his death to her 3 children. There is no mortgage on the property and it was brought with the proceeds of the sale of our family home (which he never contributed to financially). He is already saying that he will have to either move to a smaller property as he cannot afford to live in the house on his own or release some of the equity to enable him to remain in the house. Both of these options diminish the "inheritance" our mother wanted us to have. If he moves to a smaller property and frees up equity, he will squander it and if he release the equity he will also squander that. Where do we, her children, stand?

Alan Alan

Me and my partner of 20yrs split up in may this year,I want to know my legal rights regarding the house we both shared. In July I borrowed money from my parents to rent a house for her for 6mths to see if we could work things out which has not happened she is now in a relationship both our names are on the morgage & deeds, I've paid the morgage & vertually all the bills since 1996 this includes putting a extension on the property for our growing family.is it wise for me to offer her a cash lump sum? I want to sell the house now I've had no valuations as of yet

angela angela

Hi, please can u help. I live with my partner and our 7yr old daughter. The relationship seems to be coming to the end but the thing is were not married and the bills are paid direct debit from his account. The morgage is also just in his name. Would I be entitled to stay and him go or what do I do? We have been together for nearly 9 years with no actual proof of me living there except for bank statements. Please help! Thank you xx

Viv Viv

My daughter and Fiancé have been living in my home for the last 5 years but have split up. He has hardly contributed to the household and has not got a joint account with my daughter. He is now demanding half of her hairdressing business, which she has built up over the past 5 years. It's my daughter who owns it and he hasn't put anything in it. It is just making a small profit now, but not a wage. Can he do this as they are not married? He also demanded back the engagement ring which she gave him and also an ipad which he gave her for her birthday. He is phoning her all the time and coming to my house with his demands. What can we do?

tony tony

hi my partner of 9 years and mother to 2 of our children recently decided to move out after an adulterous relationship leaving me with the children, also recieving over 20,000 inheritence. am i entitled to any even though we werent married? thank you

lawrence bell lawrence bell

hello, I have been divorced from my wife since 1999, when we got divorced we came to an agreement through both solicitors that I signed over the house to her, and I could keep my pension, we got back together in august 2002, since being back living together I have poured thousands of pounds into the property therefore in an agreement between me and her my name went back on the mortgage, so now the property is in joint names,we have spoken and are going to part and go our separate ways, but because the pension was signed over to me and is in my name,does she have any right to my pensions monthly payment, there's is no lumpsum pension savings, just what I receive each month.

Kev 73 Kev 73

Me and my partner have split afte 13 years we have four children she moved out 4 months ago

Andrew Andrew

My ex girlfriend purchased a property with inheritance money, this was purchased solely in her name,several years later with remortgaged the property and agreed an 80-20 deed split ( 80 to her) this house was then sold and the mortgage them paid off at the time we sold the house. The new house was paid for in cash from the equity of the sale ( cash ) and was purchased in joint names on the deeds, no percentage of split in ownership was registered.

We have now sepersted and she is claiming I have no legal right as a joint owner.

She currently resides in the home with out daughter and her son from her previous marriage.

Can I force a sale ? And be entitled to half the equity or will she have to but out my share?

joseph jones joseph jones

I have been living with my partner in her house for over five years. My wages have been paid into her account to help towards mortgage.Yesterday, I got suspended from work for stealing, i told my partner and she says she wants me out. We have a two year old daughter together, i will be destitute if i go as all of my family and friends live miles away

joanne gomm joanne gomm

Hi me and my ex partner who have two children together split up 18 months ago. We have a house in joint names. I Put 25000 to wards the buying the house he contributed nothing. All payments come out of my bank account. When we were together he wld give me £200 every fri which wasnt every week. Since splitting up he has give me no money towards the mortgage or the children he now wants to be removed from the mortgage but I have to give him money. What is he entitled to financially?

Jo Jo

My neice and her partner are splitting up. The mortgage is in his name only. Although she pays more then 50% to household bills etc. He has turned around and said he wants her out the house (the split was his decision) now. She has nowhere to go other then a neighbour, who have offered for her to stay there while she saves fir a deposit. Her ex has said he will give her money towards a deposit but she still won'thave enough, but he has also said that if she moves in with the neighbours he will not give her the money and will also change the locks so she will not be able to gain access to feed the cat which she will be taking with her when she gets her own place. We think the reason he doesn't want her next door (which would only be for few months) is because he wants to be able to bring his new gf to the house. My neice also paid for most things and supported him whilst he was at uni then they lived in rented accommodation. She doesn't want the house and doesn't want to be there under the current circumstances, she just wants enough cash for a deposit on a new place and not be told where she can live. Is she being unreasonable?

Karen Karen

Hi, I met my partner 8 years ago and moved in with him into his house approx 7 years ago. I have 2 children from a previous relationship who do not see their father. We went on to have our own child together. We have recently split (we werent married) and I am unsure where I stand with regards to our house. I am not on the mortage but contribute equally to the bills/shopping/mortage. We both work full time.

amanda amanda

A friend of mine is preparing to leave his girlfriend of 10+years.they have a mortgage together and one child.
As he is unsure of his rights he sought advice today and was told that with regards to the house he would have to either buy her out or sell.there would be approx £30,000 equity to divide once sold and because they have lived together for such a long time and have a child he would basically lose his share as the 30k would be a deposit for a house for the ex.
Can anybody tell if this is the case.

Stef Stef

My ex partner and I who both own a property with 50/50 equity have recently put our property on the market . Unfortunately the property is no longer able to achieve the original asking price due to repairs required which neither parties can afford to repair. Thus now we both are in dispute as the agency have advised to lower the price in order to achieve sale based on feedback and now value, but my partner does not want to as he wants to get back the money he invested in, even though he was advised 50 50 regardless .
I would like to know what rights do I have.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Dave,

In short, no, she doesn't.

Hi Fiona,

When somebody dies without living a will, intestacy law determines how their estate is divided. As you'll see by following this link, his children have plenty of entitlements.


Hope this helps. Sorry for your loss.

dave dave

hi, my partner of 13 years has decided to go it alone. we have lived in a house for 10 years of which i have the mortgage (she is not on the mortgage) and paid all the bills. We have a 10 year old daughter together and a 15 year old step daughter. she has never paid a penny towards the cost of the house and bills just does the weekly shop of which i pay here each month towards. Does she have any rights to the house if i sell?
thanks in advance

Fiona Fiona

My partner and I separated in March 2013 for "timeout". We had two children - 2 & 3 year old boys. He died suddenly in August without leaving a will. His family are not willing to give the boys anything, not even the family photographs on his hard drive!!!
What are my children entitled to?
We live in Scotland.

Lynnette Lynnette

I have sole morgage on my house, my boyfriend & I were in and out of our relationship, we have split, however his father hung himself, know the funeral is over he has moved in with is older sister, who has some STD's, and I have found her useing my things, whilst he goes to the pub and arrived in my home unable to speke, and she is wearing my cloths, how can I get them out of my home?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Julie,

If the house is in his name or joint names he can force a sale to release his share in its value. The proceeds are divided according to how much each party paid in, so he would receive more. He would also be entitled to retain his possessions. So, with regards to your questions, unfortunately, he can legally sell the house and retain his share.

Julie Julie

Hi, me and my partner of 27years (we are not married) we have 2 boys, 18 and 12. We bought our house in 2008 cash with the money of our council house and some money from his dad what he died. He is now forcing to sell it, weather I want to or not. Can he do this and keep most of the money because he put more in to buying it. I never worked because he never let me. Where do I stand legally. He also says everything he bought for the kids is his can he do this.
Please help me.

kim kim

MY boyfriend owns a house with his x girlfriend .. his x girlfriend is still married to her husband, refuses to get a divorce cause his insurance is really good. ?? my boyfriend and his x lived together for 14 yrs (as she is still married). well she left their home in Dec of 2012 with the intent to never return, but he was not allowed to mover his new girlfriend in cause the x girlfriends name is on the house as well.. I was wondering what are his rights as half ownership in this house that he has been taking care of since 12/12. because she wants to move back in and bring her daughters and their families to live in this house that he has been paying on for the last 8 months goin on 9 months.

andy andy

my partner and I (we are not married) have a joint account - i snapped her card up as she wasted half our money every month, and to protect my ability to pay the mortgage.

She doesnt work, I pay all the bills - including the mortgage. She hates the house, never looks after anything and threatens me when i refuse to replace the broken items.

She's at home all day looking after the children

If we split up, does she just get a percentage of the money she's paid towards the house - which is virtually zero. I'm worried about this as I've worked hard paying £57,000 over six years towards the house, and dont want to give up 50% to someone who couldn't care less. That house is the childrens future, and she cant see that. thats why i want to work it out with her.

Dave Dave


I have a house solely in my name, me and my partner sold our separate houses and we moved in together into a larger house 20 years ago with her 5 year old.

I paid for the sale of both houses and the purchase of the new one and provided the only deposit of 17.5k.

After two years of being in the house we had a baby together and that was me trapped by a partner that basically decided not to return to work no mater what.

Her ex paid her maintenance directly for his boy and I never saw any of that money for his keep. Child allowance for both her boy and our boy was again kept by her.

This went on for 12 years until her boy went to UNI and then I had to make up the for the short fall when she lost the maintenance from her ex partner (£250 per month) of pure spending money.

Being the sole bread winner I have always stuggled with debt and move it around and around and it eventually ended up on the mortgage.

I should have about 40k left and its actually 160k and I am on year 20 of my original mortgage.

I have often asked her to return to work in an capacity to help out with the bills.

When our boy because 18 years old I had enough and demanded she went back to work or I would stop paying her any money as it was pure spending money.
She prompty booked herself on to a 3 year degree course for 3 years to avoid going to work. It was all about the grant money and avoiding work as long as possible.

So I have always had every single bill and paid her spending money.

I have put the house up for sale and got an offer which I have excepted. She has not decided to allow the sale if I give her 50% of the equity remaining or she will not sign the exchange of contracts and I will be forced to get a court order and judgement to sell and % split.

I have take 50k out of the house to pay off joint credit cards and get my deposit of 20k back in my bank.

She wants 50% of the whole lot not whats left and is demanding 85k when I have put a P36 offer for 50k on the table and she so far is rejecting it and deciding to sit put.

My solicitor says make the P36 offer and apply for a court order to sell. It will take 1 year + and cost 30-40k + vat, her bill to defend herself will be 20-30k and she might get less than the 50k I have offered on the P36.

My question is and I know its difficult to answer is what would she be likely to get in a court. The equity was 180k and I took 50k as mention before.

That leave 120k and 10k for selling and legal stuff so 110k so 50% of that is 55k and I have offered 50k.

Is this too generous?

I keep being told if she put nothing in as a deposit and she paid no mortgages and did no building in the house she will get very little.

I have paid all the bills and the mortgage for 20 years and she has demanded £250 per month spending money for 8 years now and I am broke and she knew it so it was off to UNI to get the grant and avoid work at all costs.

I feel like I have been mugged off now for 20 years, I do have a wonderful son, 18 yrs old but its cost me 200k to be at home with him watching all my debts spiral out of control why she ignores my pleas to return to even a part time job to help out.

Now to added to all of that I found out this week she has been having an affair for 3 years as well and she is trying to get 85k out of me because he has dumped her as his wife is trying to have half of his assets after finding out about the affair.

So should I go to court and up the offer to 75k to get shot?

Maria Maria

My ex husband and I separated and divorced 9 years ago since he has left he has paid nothing towards the joint mortgage of the property that I still live in. For the first year I got into a lot of debt to cover the full amount of the mortgage each month before I found out that I could go to interest only as my ex said he no longer lives in the property so will not pay for any repairs that need doing or any mortgage payments. He said at the time of the split that until our youngest reached 19 I can stay in the property but after that he wants the house sold and his share of at least 30%. Our youngest will be 19 in less than a year now I have proof of him not paying anything towards the mortgage by keeping all bank statements since he left. Do I have rights to stay in the property all the time I pay every month and what percentage would he be entitled to with paying nothing himself.

David David

A friend is just in the process of splitting from her partner of 32 years. He has been having an affair for the past 6 months. He pays the interest only mortgage and has redeemed the endowments which were going to pay off the mortgage. Mortgage is in joint names, endowments were just in his. She pays all the remaining household bills and has always done so which amount to more than the mortgage. If they sell the house what is she entitled to? He also has been putting money away while she has not been able to as more money for the running of the house was being paid by her not him. Should she be entitled to 1/2 the endowments, any savings or pensions at all?

geoff geoff


I have recently seperated from my partner who I wasnt married to. We have a joint bank account that she cleared out and then froze. Because of this its left me in a financial mess. I'm currently going through court proceedings to get residence of my kids however she has taken out a cohabtion order.

One thing I have attempted to do through her solicitor is to obtain all my personal items from the propertly, along with everything I am solely financially liable for, as I need to sell these items to recoup some of the financial loss occured when she wiped out our joint account. However she has dismissed this and not responded twice.

What can I do to obtain everything from the property?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Terra,

Usually as a mother with child you would not be forced onto the street after a separation as courts have the power to help with both short and long term accommodation for you. We’d strongly suggest that you get a co-habitation agreement to set out exactly what will happen should you split up and to give you some legal protection from the potential hardships that might result in. You can find out more here.

Terra Terra

My partner and I have been together since 2008 and I gave birth to our child in 2009 - both names on birth certificate but because he promised to marry me before the birth but did not, I gave our child my surname only. I was humiliated by being an unmarried mother as I come from a traditional family and felt angry that he did not keep his promise.

I have been a stay-at-home mother since our daughter was born and have not contributed financially. He does not want to marry me, no matter how much I have begged in the past. I no longer want to marry him but I am satisfied with the current situation.

We are looking to buy a house soon but I am worried about the situation I could be in if we were to split. He still refuses to marry me, and is not willing to put my name on the house as he is putting down all of the deposit and will be making all of the payments. I have recently started my own small company from home. I have not started earning yet but once I so I will be contributing to mortgage payments.

I have tried discussing us writing up a contract where if we decide to split we sell the house and each take back what he put in, then split the remainder of the sale between us, or something similar, but he refuses to discuss it. He says this would not be fair since it was not fair that I gave our daughter my surname only (but in my opinion I did this because it was not 'fair' that he allowed me to be an unmarried mother).

What should I do? What are my options? I do not want to be in a situation where we split and I am out on the streets or moving back in with my mother as a grown woman with a child! As far as I can see my best option is just not to move in to a house owned by him at all! I feel very helpless and confused as we are supposed to be a proper family unit. We do everything together, even the grocery shopping is done as a family! Please advise!

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Amanda,

He would be entitled to a share in the proceeds of the house. This share would be determined by how much he contributed to the mortgage in total. So, in this case that sounds like it would be significantly less than 50%. The fact he already took equity out of the house might also affect how much he is entitled to, as he’s already taken money out of the property as it were.

If the amounts contributed are disputed, you may need a court decision to decide the issue.

Hi Betty,

The main point of your question seems to be, if one partner has not contributed to the mortgage does their involvement in family entitle them to a share of the proceeds when the house is sold? The answer to that is no (assuming they never made a formal arrangement such as a co-habitation agreement saying otherwise, which doesn’t seem to be the case here.)

Regarding the issue of being able to sell without consent, yes, he can go through with the sale I’m afraid.

amanda amanda

my expartner left after taking half equity money that had been released for home improvements due to a redemption on the mortgage and the house then going into negative equity after property market fell it was impossible to sell the mortgage company did little to support the situation and the payments had to remain on repayment. my expartner has paid me £200 a month towards the 2 children as a mutual arrangement. Four years on i am now in a position to have him removed from the mortgage i have paid the mortgage through my own means for four years and chipped away at the capital which now means there is alittle equity in the house my expartner is now claimimg that the payments made to me are towards the mortgage and that he wants fifty percent of the equity before he will come of it my total mortgage payment has £760 a month what is he entitled to, also he continues to treat the house like his home and continues to remove items that he says are his xx

Betty Betty

If a couple who are separated bought a house years ago in uk and the female has not contributed towards mortgage but has been majorly responsible for looking after the children who are now over 18 years old and now the man wants to sell the house, will the woman still be entitled a share of the proceeds from the sale? The house was bought as tenants in common.

The husband says he wants to get a court order to sell, that the wife will not be entitled to any share since she did not contribute to the mortgage payment and also will the court order her to produce evidence of contribution to mortgage?

He also said that the court will deduct every expenses of the mortgage from the wife's share of the house sale. Is it correct the man wants to sell without the woman's consent. The house is worth over £300,000 but he wants to give the wife £30,000 out of the net sale of about £310,000?

The husband has removed the wife's name from the voters register unknown to her, will she still be entitled to any share and what should she do now before the sale of the house is effected?

She does not stay in Britain but comes to Britain yearly. Does this affect her share?

Evan Ellis Evan Ellis

basically i'd like to say i'm really pleased i found this forum so i can share my thoughts with you people. We plan to move to U.K. from Greece in 2014. We are not married and we got our little daughter with us. I really need to know about advantages and disadvantages between married and unmarried foreign couples living in U.K. Any reply/idea/link would be helpful for me!

thanx for you time!

MGZRJackass MGZRJackass

Hello, I live in scotland not sure if the laws are different here... But heres my situation, Im writting this on behalf of finding out information for my mother. My mum and dad are not married and have 3 children (Adults Now) but have been together and living together for 30years, my mum was a live at home parnter as she couldnt work because she had to raise the kids, now they are going to be seperateing my dad owns the house we live in the house we grew up in, but he also owns 4 other properties which he rents out, and my mum has nothing in her name, My dad has been cheating on her for years which has lead to this seperation, If my mum leaves him is she enititled to anything? As it was his fault she couldnt work as she had to stay home to raise the 3kids and hasnt been in employment for so long. i would really appreciate some information thanks.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Ken,

No. When unmarried couples separate they have no rights to the other's property and are usually not responsible for contributing to the other's living costs (with the exception of child maintenance).

Ken Ken

What rights do unmarried couple have when the separate ? Does each have a right to half of the others finances ie bank balances ? Does each partner still have to contribute to the usual domestic bills eg mortgage, gas, electric etc etc . In this case the couple have lived together for 8 years .

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Kerrie,

He cannot register the property with the land registry if he doesn’t own a share in it. You say the property is in your name alone so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Any spending carried out on your card without permission amounts to fraud.

You should certainly contact Citizens Advice about your situation. You may also be entitled to legal aid.

You can find out more here- https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid/eligibility

Hi Michelle,

He would have to get a court order to have your children taken off you. As the mother, it is likely that you are the only parent with legally recognised parental responsibility.

Unfortunately, when it comes to property and money, whatever is in his name remains his and, despite your previous arrangement, though he has to support the children, he has no duty to offer you financial support you (unless you can get him to sign a separation agreement saying otherwise.)

Following separation it can be possible to get housing benefit and council tax credit. You can also apply for long term accommodation if you’ve been made homeless. More information on this is available here- http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/housing_e/housing_finding_a_place_to_live_e/finding_accommodation.htm

You may also find it useful to contact the CAB on 08444 111 444.

Hi Helen,

It if it’s a joint mortgage the equity either can access is decided by how much they’ve contributed to the mortgage. If she’s paid 50% she shouldn’t sign anything that says otherwise.

Secondly, the father is obliged to offer financial support for his child. You can find out more here-


Hi Gary,

If it’s a joint mortgage, it should be split according to your contributions.

Hi Unmarried,

She’s entitled to force the sale of the house to realise her share of the equity (how this is depends on how much she contributed to the mortgage.) She want be entitled to your pension unless you are on a scheme where they are designated to receive benefit. You should talk to your scheme provider about this.

Hi Sue,

You might find yourself in real difficulties. He should get a will made as a priority. Check out our guide to the subject.


Hi Hayley,

Yes, you can draw up an agreement between yourselves to assure how things will be should you ever separate and it would be prudent to do so.

kerrie kerrie

I lived with my ex for 18 years we have 3 children he has never work i solely own the property he was arrested 2 years ago for domestic violence and was imprisioned , i have an injunction against him,
i would like some advise as he has put a land regisrtry on the property i am receiving solicitors letter saying he wants £40000 from the property
he was rearrested last month for breaching the in junction and imprisoned again i still have some of his possessions but want them out of the house how can i legally go about this
he is getting legal aid
i work i am in huge debts mainly because of his drug habit and compulsive spending all unfortunately on my credit card i cant afford legal help. any advice would be extremely helpful.

Michelle Michelle

Me and my partner have been together unmarried for 19 years and have two children . I moved into his house when I had our 1st child which was 14 years ago . I've not worked since as we agree that I should be a stay at home mum . So now we are splitting up he's told me I've got to move out . He said he won't give me any money or help me find somewhere to live . He threatens to take kids off me as he says I can't look after them as I won't have anywhere to live . I just don't know what or where to go !

boydrowning boydrowning

Lots of silly people here who were too busy shacking up and having kids to think about the future

helen helen

dear sirs
This is a hard one to ask for
my daughter = {H}
partner = {G} grandad ={K}
H has been together with G for 7 years has a little girl of 7 years they our now in 2nd house it's not working out so K is asking H to sign paper to state that she only ownens 2%or 5% of the house. she has lost work for the last 4 months so is not paying her part of the morage , but is not asking for money to help with her daughter which is the same sum as the morage!
I should also note
K, has paid 60% to help them to get started
G, has only now have 35%
H, they say has 5/2%
H, has move out and lives with me with her daughter
but she was and has been paying her 50% from the morage as a unmarried couple and if i recall in the 7 years she did pay more then 50% as G was on a very low wage
any comment would be helpful should she sign

Gary Gary

Me and my partener have split up. We have a 17 month old daughter. The sale of our house is away to go through. I put down a deposit on the house for40k and she put down deposit of 27k. Will I get back my 40 k and we will split the profits?? She said at the beginning that s what would happen but it's turned sour. Do I have any rights.

unmarried unmarried

we have lived together for 26 years have 1 dependant child. A mortgage joint name ...a couple of loans in joint names. She walked out after 26 yars saying i want to be single. Nothing untowards happened she just left and broke up.
is she entitled to half of my pension and half of everthing in the house including the house?

Sue Sue

I left the USA (and gave up my Green Card - was raised and grew up there from the age of 3) and moved in with my partner in the UK. Shipped all my belongings here, have been together 17 years, have a 14 year old daughter. Always wanted to get married, but he has a fear of it. I am now 50 years old, he's old fashioned in the sense that he wanted me to be a stay at home mum. I gave up my career in show biz and have never had a regular job here. I don't have a bank account or any type of pension or anything in my name.. He is well to do and pays all the bills, We are renting and do not own a house at this time. The car is in his name. He doesn't have a will. Before I met him, I worked as a cleaning person 20 years ago. I have continued cleaning our houses, which have been mansions, worked harder than I ever did when I got paid for it. I have disk damage in my back from it and all the heavy lifting I have done, could never do it as a real job now, lol. My fear is that if anything ever happened to him, what on earth would happen to me? Would my daughter and I have to just walk with the clothes upon our backs and sleep outside and literally die? We have no family here and don't qualify for any benefits.

HayleyB HayleyB

Hi, I will be moving into my partner's home with my son later this year. I will be contributing to 50% of the monthly mortgage repayments and towards household bills. I want to secure my future, particularly if I am paying towards my partners home which will remain in his name. can I have a legal agreement drafted which will entitle me to a small proportion of the property (taking into account he has paid some already off his mortgage)?

barbara barbara

i have 3 children that where all born and registered in scotland before may 2006 so the father has no parental rights i now live in england with them does his rights change.

Chris Chris

Hi I split with my ex at the beginning of July 2011 we have a joint mortgage and I have been paying that in full since he left. We have a now 6 year old daughter and in our process of splitting we went to mediation to come to agreements concerning the house and our daughter. It was agreed that I would continue to live in the house until such times that I either decided to move on or till she left full time education. I am self employed and my business is based at the property. Our daughter is also homeschooled. In the mediation agreement it says that if I was to get married or move a boyfriend in here for more than 6 months then I would have to sell the house therefore releasing my ex share of the positive equity and letting him move on. I have a boyfriend and it is our long term plan to get married but it seems like the impossible thing to make happen at the moment. So we spend our time going backwards and forwards to each others homes. My ex is now saying that he thinks I should be made to sell the house because my boyfriend stays overnight. We have our own bills and live in different houses and only keep the bare minimum of personal effects at each others home. If I was forced to sell on my current income it would be impossible for me to get a mortgage or to rent anywhere that offers my daughter what she has now or that I could consider running my business from. I struggle to pay £325 mortgage and the sort of property where I could run my business from would probably cost around £600 per month if I was lucky enough to find somewhere suitable. My boyfriend earns less than £200 a week. Can he force the sale under these circumstances.

Angela Angela

Hi, my son and his partner have just parted. They purchased a house together in August of 2012 using 65,000 that I gave him as a deposit. He put the house in joint names. They have a joint mortgage of 165,000 and he pays the mortgage from his bank account. They had both agreed to start the ball rolling to sell the house but she has now announced she is pregnant. The relationship is over and there is no chance of reconciliation. My son is more than happy to be a part of his childs life and will certainly maintain the child and spend as much time with him as he is allowed. The ex girlfriend is now saying that she wants half of all monies from the sale of the house. Where do you we stand with this situation. Any advice gratefully received. It is a sad situation with the house and the new baby being used as weapons against us.

barbara barbara

what can i legally do with my ex partners possessions that he will not remove from my house. I have given him more than 6 dates by which to collect them over a 3 month period and he has either not turned up or asked for a date way into the future. He just wants to use me as free storage. He is threatening to take me to court if I remove or destroy them.

Michelle Gearing Michelle Gearing

My mum is currently dying with brain cancer and we have no idea how long she has left with us.
She has been with her boyfriend for a cruel 27 years and they have a house together.
When my my collapsed in October 2011 he managed to get his name down as next of kin and has had all the control over my mums health for the last 16 months. He decided after about a week of my mum going into hospital that he wanted no more to do with the rest of the family and has not communicated with us about anything regarding my mums illness.
With my mum looking not to good at the moment and not being able to speak for herself, we believe that she has not got long with us and we know that the boyfriend wont even bother to tell us that she has passed and will go on to make all the funeral arrangements with out letting us know.
Please, please can someone tell me what I can do to be able to spend the last hours with my mum and to have the opportunity to put her to rest peacefully.

Lyndsay-Anne Lyndsay-Anne

Hi there

I have been with my partner for 10 years.

I moved to Manchester from Scotland 9 years ago. We currently live in a bought house. We have 1 daughter who is 9 months old.

we jointly registered the birth so his name is on the birth certificate.

If we split up I want to move to be with my family in Scotland, but he says he won't let me move away with his daughter. I want to move but give him access to her, I would never ever stop him from seeing her. But he says he will contest me moving away and that he wants 50:50 custody. I feel trapped in a relationship that is not working and its not fair on our daughter living like that. I have stayed so far for her sake but don't love him any more.

He works full time and long hours so would have little time to spend with her whereas if i move to Scotland I would give up my full time job and get a part time one so i could look after my daughter.

Can he stop me moving away and what would be his chances re 50:50 custody?

I would really appreciate your advice.

Many thanks.

martin martin

Hi, my ex girlfriend cheated while our house developed a structural fault ( no one admitted liability and now developer insurance) we are separated 27months now. I was left with a £127k mortgage to pay on my own that's in joint names( joint property owners) a home devalued from 250k down to 100k and I had to borrow £35k from parents to repair the home while she did nothing. luckily I was compensated 65k ( solicitors admitted fault) so my parents were reimbursed. leaving 30k stuck at the solicitors until agreement is made.. etc...Because we are still effectively joint property owners is it still a 50/50 split on any equity increase after the repairs under these Terrible circumstances

maureen maureen

i split with my partner when my son was 2, he is 18 now. my son mainly lived with me but saw his dad regularly and his dad paid maintenance to me. my ex had met somebody else so he bought a property for me and my son and it is in my name. if i now sell the property is he entitled to any of the money.

Sueb Sueb

Hi my partner has been living in my house for approx 6 years. He pays approx 1/2 of all bills etc. We have his children stay often. Does he have any rights to my house etc. We want different things and feel he is only with me due to he cant afford a house of his own.

Steve Steve

I was with my ex partner for 25 years.(We weren't married). We have a 17 year old daughter. My ex walked out on us. We have a joint mortgage (taken out a few years ago). Having the larger income I have always paid the mortgage on my own. I also paid all the other main bills (Gas, electric,water, council tax, Tv), My ex did contribute to other things.Your article on the home section states
'If a house is bought in joint names, it should be split accordingly on separation, and either party can force a sale of the property to realise their share. If the parties are contributing unequally to the purchase price, or to payments on the property, for example if he is paying 70% and she is paying 30%, this should be reflected in the amounts they take away with them' With your advice I should be entitled to the full 100%. I believe that my ex is entitled to something.
I have been to see 2 solicitors & they are saying that she is entitled to a 50/50 split & your advice is wrong. I am also trying to establish if my ex is entitled to any of the furniture in the house. I have just spent over £5k on new furniture & curtains etc. Please advice?

Kirk Kirk

I Bought a house with x partner aprox 7 years ago and split up 3 years later,i put a large deposit on the house from proceeds from my divorce which is documented, and she paid the reservation fee
She hasn't contributed since she left. To either the mortgage,bills or estate maintenence charges .The house is currently worth approx £10,000 more than the interest only mortgage is for .
I have since met someone else and got married baby on the way so need to sort the house/mortgage out
I've tried to get her to sign it over to me seeing as there isnt much profit in the house But she won't, so ive put house on the market to sell and release some of the little equity left in it
She won't accept any less than £7500 to walk away if I were to pay her off which is a lot considering the situation
!! Is there anything else I can do as this seems so unfair

Robyn Robyn

Hi there,

Im 21yr old and really need some advice for my mother who is trying to deal with a very difficult break up in connection with a property business and the actual family house we live in.

My parents have been together for 22 years. They own about 30 properties which they rent out, 7 of which my dad put in his own name.

The "Family Home' is in my dads name, we have lived here for 12-13 years, i have little sister who is 14. My dad is living at my nans house at the moment but has made us leave on many occasions. My mum is currently seeking help to spilt the business etc... which is costing her alot of money. My mother and father have jointly paid the mortgage payments, renovations and bills always. My father has over the years been very controlling with the business and their accounts.

He has always said to her that everything was 50/50, she attempted to get a contract signed to agree that one of the first properties they bought was hers to. He did not end up signing it, only because they "never got round to it" but one was written up by a solicitor. Can this be proved to altleast show intent to promise 50/50?

What i need to know is if this goes to court, which is very likely to, will she have any interest in the property?Could we be forced to leave?

Also as he tries to control the business, accounts etc... he will not allow her access to the family office and keeps it locked. She is trying to put a case together but is finding it very difficult as she has no access to joint paper work filed in the office, which can be used as evidence for other business finanical issues she is having with him. She has been told that she can not enter it as it is his property? IS he allowed to control the business which is also hers? He has a court agreement that he is allowed access to the property between certain hours in the day and therefore can come in and take vital paperwork and therefore if the court asks to see this, by then he could just say he doesnt have it....

Please help, I know there is alot there.

Thank you

Maria Preece Maria Preece

hi i am in the process of splitting from my fiance whom i have lived with for 4 years and been together for 8.5 years my partner brought a house soley in his name which we live in the reason being when we went for a mortgage we could get a higher mortgage soley in his name as i was at uni at the time so we went for the mortgage in his name only his dad gave us £30.000 as part of his sons inheritence early and remortgaged his house to do this. There is nothing in writing to say that he wwanted this money back or that i was a loan it was supposed to be a gift for us both to set up house. We have a joint account from which we both put to half the household bills and mortgage. We had a child 17 weeks ago together and now my partner has told me he wants out of the relationship and his dad is now aking for the money back that he gave us and that i need to get out of the house can you please tell me what are my legal rights regarding the house or as we have a child does he have a duty to give me a lump sum to help start me in my own accomodation Many thanks

mag mag

Hi Please can you help!!!
Both I and my partner jointly own our house. We have 2 children together and both are disabled with lifelong illnesses. We are currently going through a breakdown but he refused to leave the property and this is causing a great deal of anxiety on my children due to the atmosphere. I paid all 50k deposit when we bought the house from my inheritance that was left to me. And he is constantly messing around with paying then not paying our mortgage only to find out today that we are £1100 in arrears.. he keeps saying the house should be sold and me and kids go somewhere else. But do we really have to?? My house has been adapted for my boys from the Disability grant fund and also through a few charities have adapted it too for safe play.. Seriously do I have to uproot my boys from somewhere that is theres and its perfect for them in every way?? The council have already said there is no way they could ever house me and my boys in nowhere near suitable to what they already have!! PLEASE HELP ME

James James

Hi can somebody help, i bought a house with my partner after ten years i called it a day because of abusive behaviour from her and her three young adult children, basically i was bullied out the house, we have only been paying interest only, the house has been up for sale for ages and over priced its cheaper for her to stay at the house than rent so won't want to sell im supposed to pay half of the mortgage interest id only be helping her pay and i have to rent a place now what will happen if i dont pay when the house finally does sell, thankyou James

Robert Robert

My partner and I want to split up. We have a joint mortgage but all the bills are in my name and come out of a joint account. She is now using the account card to buy things and had put us to over our limit. Can I throw her out until she pays half the bills. I have no money left after bills are paid each month.

rik rik

hello, i separated from my unmarried partner 12 years ago we have 14 year old daughter, we had a joint mortgage when we split i paid some money out of a my saving account as his settlement and his names went off the deeds and i paid the mortgage from then on.
12 years later i have a new partner and we want move does my old partner have any rights to the house.
My old partner has suggested he has rights to some equity or can block the sale.

Lisa Lisa

I lived with my ex partner in his home for 4 years and gave him £500 a month for half of the bills including his mortgage. Whilst i was pregnant we decorated the whole house and i paid for half of everything and i also paid £1000 cash to the decorator. When our baby was 6months old he met someone else and kicked me and our baby out. Is there anyway i can retrieve any of that money back?

Tina Di Leva Tina Di Leva

Hi... before i met my partner i owned my own house outright, the money i paid the mortgage off with was a compensation claim due to a surgeons error that left me disabled. 2 years ago i sold my house and we bought a house together, I made sure we had a deed of trust in place as i had put down 90% of the deposit in cash. Ives now found out his gambling is out of control and and scared that I would lose my house if he didn't pay the mortgage, so I sold the house and I'm about to buy another one in cash in my own name. If he moves in and pays for half the utilities bill will i still need him to sign a deed of trust in case he tries to claim half the house if we decided to separate sometime in the future?

Sarah Sarah

my aun tie died recently and left her partnet and two daughters. There was no will so the partner has no rights to the property. The girls are refusing to allow him into the property, which has been his home for 18 years.
does he have any rights to live in the property

susan susan

hi whats the situation where by a couple bought a house together and now have a child, they are unmarried, the deposit was provided by the woman, the man has the mortage payments come out of his bank account and the woman pays all the bills buys the food ect. Who gets what in the split and does the mother have to give the father access every other weekend to the child, he is named on the birth certificate

Ali B Ali B

Hi my partner of 11 years moved into my property, the property is in my name. We are not married but took out a joint life insurance policy. If something were to happen to him will i get the insurance or will it go to his adult children. I can see from other posts that he is not entitled to any of my property.

sue sue

Myself and ex-partner own two properties jointly one we
rent out and one I live in. I have tried to put both on the market the one I live in he has not objected to its sale as
he damaged the property in anger when we parted.
The second property is one that he wants to keep as
he knows I wanted to mve back to that property although
that would be difficult now as he has brought the property next to it. The agents sent him a valuation of
the property on my instructions I have not agreed in writting to this valuation but on receipt of it he offered
that amount and said he would be buying it I don't
want to sell my half to him do I have to and can I
insist that I don't agree to the valuation price I want it
to go on the market for more.

Hollie Hollie

I have lived as joint tenants with my partner since 2002.

We came to an agreement that she would get a job once we had moved in so that we would jointly be paying for mortgage and expenses. Her children also moved in with us.

She got a job, but would not contribute. She then moved out for a year due to mental health issues. She then moved back in for a couple of years and has now been moved out for 3 years.

She paid nothing towards the house, nor the £45,000 I spent improving and extending the house. I have paid the mortgage, bills etc since I moved into the property.

When she disappeared and moved out I tried on many occasions to attempt to resolve the property issue and split proceeds etc...but she would not respond to me.

She has now instructed a solicitor yet I cannot afford one. Her solicitors keep telling me that it is a 50:50 split unless I have a deed of trust to prove otherwise. Obviously I have nothing of the sort.

Is it really simply the case that she gets 50% of the roceeds even though I am the reason the house is worth what it is now, even though I paid for her and her children to live (which was not agreed to) for the majority of 7 years.

Please help.

Vicky Vicky

Me and my partner of almost 4 years are on the rocks. He's not English and talking about if we do split up he's going to take our son. He is on the birth certificate, but can he take our son out of country and away from me? I need advice here. Please

sharon B sharon B

Hi i wander if you can help me my partner lived with someone for approx 3yrs he put her on the mortgage after being on the mortgage she decided she would leave and wants him to put the house up for sale as she wants half!!! which he as done, he is to scared to change estate agents as she says it has to go through her so he is unable to do anything..she left the house two yrs ago and as not contributed to any of the mortgage upkeep or bills. even though he is paying interest only. she goes up when she wants to and he as tried to be amicable... He owned the property for 5yrs before she moved in with him on his own with his children...she is even threatening that his son who as returned to the house having split up she can kick him out..i would appreciate your feed back thank you.

Steve hunt Steve hunt

Me and my ex were living together for 4 years we have a mortgage together and a 8 year old boy which I have him 3 nights a week She now has left me and the home for nearly 5 months she had an affair now recently she tells me she wants the house and me to move out or she will get a resident or something to force me out Alls I want to do is sell the house she is living with her mam in a 3 bed semi with my son if I leave I have nowhere to live and nowhere for my son to stay with me can someone help me on this matter because I know I'm getting forced out of my own home so she can move back in with her boyfriend. I need to know we're I stand on this matter thanks

Amy Amy

Hi. I was with a guy for 9 months, only saw him twice a month if I was lucky, at the time he told me he was bi olaf ( amongst other things) I'm not the sort of person to judge so I tried to help him whilst we were together, I fell pregnant and soon after things went very south. We spilt when I was 4 months pregnant and I haven't seen him since. Just after my son was born he contacted via a solicitor wanting contact, I raised the question about his bi polar to make sure he was medicated and my son would be safe. I and my solicitor then found out he doesn't have bi polar or anything And I'm suppose to be ok with handing my baby over to him. He's been bitching via solicitors for over a year now and has asked for mediation ( for a second time) I'm terrified. I honestly feel my son is at risk I found other things out about him :( he's never seen his son and he isn't on the birth certificate he even told the csa he didn't think my son was his ( after demanding contact for 3 months) so we had to have DNA tests. I'm not unreasonably and I do know that having both parents in a child's life is important but I'm terrified of letting him anyway near him. He's very good at manipulating ppl and I'm scared that if it goes to court he' ll put on his charm and convince them he's a perfect person ( I know things about him that close friends of his has no idea about!!!! He's that good). What can I do to keep my son safe. Sorry if i went on to long new to this :s

Jane Jane

sorry, i left the incorrect email address on my earlier correspondence regarding my uk/Australian partner, I hope that you are able to tie this in - thank you

Jane Jane

Hi, complicated scenario, 24 years ago i had twins and the fathers name wasnt put on the certificate. However we hqve stayed in touch and now want to get back together, (we are both separated but not divorced)
He has UK/Australian dual citizenship and we want to buy a house in the UK as a base. If he gets a mortgage in his name but we have both names on the deeds, and a will written up that in the event of both our deaths it will go to our twins (who aren't connected to him by law just biologically) is this a possibility? (he has 2 other grown up children by law in Australia who know that the twins are their half brother and sister). Our current spouses refuse to grant a divorce, so we will be looking at 5 years before we could contemplate marrying each other, so we need to get the law straight in our heads regarding the property we would like to get together. thanks, kind regards

Sheina Sheina

I'm living with my partner for more than 5years. Every time he's drunk or annoyed with me, he wanted me to leave in our rented house. I'm on indefinite leave to remain. When I leave him, can I still be able to get my british citizenship as have a permanent job in the UK?

Michael Michael

my partner & i have bought a house together,joint names ,we have been talking about when we get older & one of us dies,what do we do with things
my partner has said if she dies first she will leave her half of the house to her children,can she do this as i would be still the home owner


Dated a woman for 3months and broke up in 2009 when I discovered she has severe mental illness,she had a child afterwards and she's been claiming she's mine but she has refused DNA and my name's not on the birth cert but cos her illness she has almost damaged my reputaton,she continues till date to telll lies to friends and family of mine that she found on my facebook which has made me loose a lot of friends, this has affected me so negatively and altere my life. 1) pls can anyone advice me on how to stop her from spreading lies about me? 2) what responsibility do I have over the child and do I have to be paying her money for maintenance of the child? I have lost a job due to this woman and she still continue harassing my former colleagues,I look over my shoulders all the time as she has attacked me on several occassions in my house,at my work and so I don't feel safe at all. Can anyone give me some advice on how to involve the authoriities so I get her off my back? Thank you kindly.

Tufa Tufa

I have lived with my patner for over four years and hes not willing to give me a baby.we are finacially stable and he claims that we cant raise a child since he claims that we are still not having enough cash to raise the child.
I feel like we should separate.
What happens to the wealth(car and our fully furnished house)that i have also contributed to build.
please advice.

kev kev

Me and my ex broke up a year ago. We have three children together 5,9&11. We got a mortgage 5/6 years ago based on my salary as she was not working and both our names are on the mortgage . We were never married. Also she took me to court over access to the kids and a residency order, which I applied for parental responsibility for the older two which I got, as I already have it for the youngest.
I mainly work in London and travelled home every 2nd week. The mortgage payments came out of our joint account ,then after a year or so she changed it to interest only and was getting housing benefits into her account only which i didn't realise as she dealt with the home and day to day finances.
Now we have broke up she is refusing to let me into the house, which i believe she has no legal right but i suspect if i walk in the door she will call the police and tell them i am harassing her and they will arrest me. Also I gave my set of keys to the eldest which she took off of him.
I have asked the mortgage company to send her papers so that my name can be taken off the mortgage but she is refusing to do this. How do i go about forcing her to take my name off or a sale of the house.

I'm concerned that if she lets the property go into disrepair or she tries to get loans on the face of securing the mortgage on it i will get lumbered with half the bills, as i am now unemployed myself the local council wont help me get antwhere to live as they say i own a property even if it is in a different part of the country. She also has a new boyfriend living their over the weekends.



Shannon Shannon

I recently split up with my partner of 10.5 yrs due to his continual ionfidelity. I have asked him many times to take his belongings and he hasn't. How long do i have to wait for him to get it before i get rid of it? It has been almost for months. Please help. Thank you.

shell shell

Hello please ayi ask i been living with my partner of over 11 years i have not puch much money in to home but we have both names as joint partners we have no mortgage i have help with bills looking after home as home mos time he i past 2 years had a affair and april this year moved out home so left me to look after the home i have no money only small benefit i have no forwarding addy i cant get legal aid due to capital in home so please how can i sell house or force sale of it to get my equitly out as he refuss to sell or help im really stuck and very unhappy

Sharon Sharon

Partner of 7 plus yrs not married. House in his name I have lived with him a year now and look after home and him we have a newborn son I buy food in
I know I have no rights if we split probably even though we have a child together.
If partner passes away is his child intitled to anything? Or will partners parents be?

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Hi Jon,

Generally, she’d need a court order for that.

Hi Jon,

With regards to the questions in your first post;

1) If you are named on the birth certificate, you also have parental rights. No, you wouldn’t be able to stop her moving.

2) With the joint mortgage, the house belongs to both of you. Both of you are able to force its sale. However, the proceeds of a sale won’t be split evenly. They’ll be split according to who paid what towards the mortgage. Therefore, you should receive the vast majority of the money.

3) If the debt in question is in your name, then yes.

4) Whatever you bought is yours. She has no claim to any of your possessions.

5) Correct, they are hers.

As for advice on how to proceed, I wouldn’t be able to give any without really being familiar with your specific situation. However, your attitude seems highly constructive and that certainly seems the way to go about getting a good outcome for everybody.

Hi Paul,

Yes she can force a sale of the house. The proceeds would be split according to the proportion of the mortgage you’ve each paid.

Hi Jackie,

The ins and outs of this situation really depend on who the house belongs to. This seems unclear to me. Is the house yours?

Hi Maria,

What is your living arrangement? Are you tenants, or do you have a mortgage? If he owns the property outright, you’ll have no claim on it.

Hi Susan,

If a court decides it would be seriously detrimental for your child for you to move out they could award you the tenancy or pass a court order allowing you to stay. Other than that, it’s his flat, so he has the right to live there.

Hi Lisa,

You can force the sale as it’s a joint mortgage, he can’t stop you on the front, so that would seem the best solution.

Hi Jess,

Yes, as it’s your house alone. You are also completely entitled to sell it.

Jess Jess

My partner and I moved into our property 20 years ago although it is in my name and I have paid everything. For most of our time together he has been unemployed and I have got into horrendous debt funding his many money-making schemes (yes, stupid, I know). Now he has a job but considers all his pay as his own and won't give me any to help out. My only way out of debt is to sell our home which he refuses to do. I've asked him to leave but he refuses to go. I want to sell and give him half of whatever's left after everything's paid off and then go our seperate ways. Can I force him to go against his will?

Lisa Lisa

Hi I have a joint mortgage on a shared ownership property 45% mortgage rest rented
I've owned it for 4 years my partner left us in jan 2012 and has not paid a penny towards either rent or mortgage.. I have been paying via my bank accounts .. I possible have been paying for longer than that probably more than 12 months proof..
My ex won't sell.. Won't sign it over and can't afford to run it him self... Can you offer advice ?

Mel Mel

I leave with a boyfriend who doesn't want my 16yrs old leave in his house. We have a 1 yr old together and I am pregnant again. If I say I will move out to leave with all my children and he can come to mine or I will come to his place but I will have my owm place he goes mad and threten to take me to court. I never say I am goong to leave him all I want is my family under one roof and I never say I will stop him to see his kids.
He force me to rent a studio flat for my 16years to leave in I pay all the bills buy foid and support him from there but I still want him near me.
Please help he is driving me mad I dont want him to take my babies away because he have the money and I dont....

Susan Susan

Hi, I lived with my boyfriend in his London flat for 3 years & we had a baby boy. We split up recently.

He owns the flat.

Are we entitled to a share in the property? I believe if we we may have the right to have him move out of his property so I could raise our child there until he turns 18.

Many thanks.

maria fox maria fox

Do I have a right to stay if asked to leave by a partner? I am from another country and lived with him most of last 5 years, have status for indefinite leave. Whenever we fight he asks me to leave. Said I have to under law if asked. Do I have to go when I have nowhere to go? I would have to return to the country I am from

jackie jackie

Hi i moved into a property in 2006 with my partner his name was on the mortgage not mine. We had a daughter together in 2008. In 2009 he suddenly passed away. I was informed by his parents that the mortgage wasnt paid off as there was no insurance. I moved out of the property into rented accomodation. I got myself a solicitor and on several occasions called into the bank to see what was happening as i hadnt heard anything regarding the house ,even trying to hand in the keys to the property.6 months later still nothing so once again called into the bank to be told the mortgage had been paid off( i was there when the bank contacted the mortgage centre). By this time I am on to my second solicitor who started the ball rolling to get the deeds to the property. 2 months after this I was in another relationship and I showed him the property only to find there had been a massive flood caused by a burst pipe. Once again was informed by the bank the house was definately paid off so we started to repair the property.We decided to move into this property whilst the deeds were being sorted out. Anyway 1 year down the line the relationship started to turn sour but the new boyfriend refused to move out stating that it was just as much his property as mine. By now i am on to my 3rd solicitor as the other 2 were useless. Still no deeds then was told the house wasnt paid off. We are now in 2012 and even though I have been prodding the mortgage centre with a stick still nothing. 4 weeks ago i had my boyfriends possessions removed from the property and put into paid storage as the relationship was definately over I have now received a letter from his solicitor stating i have caused a tort of conversion and that my ex has as much right in this property as me. I've had the police 4 times now. Please advice

paul paul

Hi me and my ex bought a house just over three years ago,
we decided to separate for six months she lives there and iv moved back with parents until that time.
Our mortgage is for another 22 years and its in both our names 50/50 share in the property.

1. Can I visit my house when I wanted?
2. If I didn't want to sale the house in six months could she force me to sale? And how would that work?

thank you

Jon Jon

..... Continued

I am trying to be as reasonable as possible so that hopefully she stays here and my son grows up with a daily / weekly loving relationship with me. I am completely aware of the financial risk I'm putting myself under though. Plus I've got a gut feeling she already knows what she'll do after another 6 months - she's 41 years old with a 6 year old son - you'd hope she was thinking of the future now? Or maybe she is raw and a bit overwhelmed with the reality.

In 6 months time coincidently her current contract runs out - she's covering somebodies maternity - she may have to go back part time. Opportune time to leave and go back to her parents? Is she buying herself time?

I don't mind being generous, life is too short to be bitter plus I don't think it will do our son any good. I don't want to be taken either - there are obviously 2 sides to every story but I have been as honest as I can with the above info. I just want things to be fair.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any advice you can give me?

(I hope you've made it this far, I'm sorry it's quite a lengthy post)

Jon Jon

Hi my partner and I of 12 years have decided to end our relationship - we are not married and we have a 6 year old child. We both agreed "amicably" to split.

My partner is unprepared after 3 months of us ending our relationship to talk about how our assets / debt is split and the future custody of our son. She has threatened to move back closer to her parents which is a 4 hour journey - this obviously scares me as I want an ongoing relationship with my son i.e. 50 / 50 access if she stays where we have lived for the past 11 years together. I don't need to explain the practicalities of him living 4 hours away.

She has asked for another 6 months to contemplate her future and to decide on what she wants from the split. She has now asked me to move out (we are still living together albeit in separate rooms) and to continue to pay for the full mortgage and insurances, whilst also paying for a new property and all it's bills and all our debt (this is likely to cost me in excess of £3.8k a month). She is happy to pay in full for our current household bills approx £350 a month. I obviously earn more money than she does.

The mortgage is in both of our names, I have paid in full for all of the mortgage repayments over the past 6 years since we've owned the property out of my personal bank account. The initial deposit was for £10k that was shared £5k each.

In the last 6 years we have undertook a lot of home improvements / renovation which I have also paid for in full out of my own personal bank account. All home and personal insurances have also been paid for by me.

Household bills (Gas, Electric, Council Tax, and Water) have all been paid for via a joint bank account, which both of us have transferred money to equally for approx 4 years, and me solely for at least 2 of the years if not more.

To give you more info about our finances and assets - I hope I'm not overloading this post with too much info ;-)

1. The house we "own" has been valued at £200k - we've only had one evaluation

2. The debt I have accumulated renovating the house and furnishing the property is approx £35k - all loans and CC'ds are in my sole name. I have actually spent more than this - £35k is the outstanding debt

3. The outstanding mortgage is £164k

4. I have also purchased from my own personal accounts the bulk (90% +) of the furniture, electrical goods etc

5. I also have an art collection worth approx £40k - which I have paid for soley from my own personal account

6. Through the years I have bought her lots of art and jewellery

From what I understand from various resources is that what I came into the relationship with I own and vice versa, what I've purchased during the relationship I also own and vice versa.

The whole situation of me moving out feels very very unfair - I'm only agreeing in the hope that she finally agrees to stay here with my son. I feel like I'm being held to ransom slightly!

In your opinion what are the legal implications;

1. I understand that she has more parenting rights - I did co-sign the birth registration so I know I have some rights? I don't think I can stop her moving away?

2. Me moving out and her remaining here. I've spoken to a solicitor briefly (via a friend) and I know she has too. I'm sure she's been told the same as I have been - don't move out. What are the legal implications of me moving out - does this give her more rights over the house? Being joint on the mortgage where does she stand?

3. The debt I understand is my sole responsibility as it's all in my name. Can you confirm this?

4. In terms of the contents of the house and my art collection - legally where do I / she stand.

5. I understand that any personal gifts she would keep - which sounds perfectly reasonable - they were gifts!

I am trying to be as reasonable as possible so that hopefully she stays here and my son grows up with a daily / weekly loving relationship with me. I am completely aware of the financial risk I'm putting myself under th

Jon Jon

if i leave the family home has my partner got the right to stop me from entering the home even tho i will be still paying the mortgage

Rob Rob

After 16 years my partner recently decided to end our relationship.We have a mortgage in both names though i have made every payment since day one.I have bank and the lenders statements to confirm this.We have a 13 year old son and she seems to think that she is entitled to stay and that i cannot sell the property.For myself to carry on with things and find somewhere to live,i would need equity from the sale of the property.There is a good amount of equity in the property if it was sold,what would she be entitled to?

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Rob,

With a joint mortgage, either party can force a sale to get at their share of the equity, which, in your case, should be 100% or close to it. Unless a court has specifically ordered that you can't, you're able to sell.

Rob Rob

After 16 years together my partner recently decided to end our relationship.We have a mortgage in joint names,though i have made every payment since day one.We have a 13 year old son and she seems to think she is entitled to stay and that i cannot sell the property.For myself to carry on and find somewhere to live i would need equity from the sale of the property.She has her own savings in the bank,more than i actually have,and there is a lot of equity in the property,what would she or myself be entitled to.

UK Net Guide UK Net Guide

Hi Ian,
Legally you are entitled to force a sale to realise the equity you need (for the exact reasons you’ve outlined in your post). The only exception is if a court rules this would be genuinely harmful to your child. Where you told by a court you couldn’t sell, or simply by your ex-partner?

Hi Kym,
Unmarried partners have no claim to property unless a will stipulates so. Unless your mother’s will says otherwise, it would pass to you.

Hi Amy,
If it’s in your name, it’s yours. The only way he’d be entitled to a share in the house is by proving to a court that you had made a binding agreement that this would be the case. In other words he’d have to prove to the court that you’d explicitly agreed between you that his paying of bills would entitle him to a share. This is very hard for someone to prove. For unmarried couples, property almost always stays with the named owner.

If you’d like to have things made clear, you could have a co-habitation agreement drawn up outlining exactly what will happen if you break up.

Hi Garry,
Proceeds should be split according to contribution. As she stopped contributing, she’ll get less.

Hi Elle,
It would pretty difficult for you to get a claim to the equity. You’d need to be able to prove to a court that you and your partner had agreed that your paying of bills would be in exchange for a share of the equity. Obviously, this would be hard to do.

Hi Susan,
As you own your house right you can have done this relatively quickly by contacting a conveyancing solicitor. They’ll be able to fill you in on costs. They’ll also be able to fill you in on some of the drawbacks of adding children to the deeds that you may not have considered, such as future stamp duty they may have to pay to buy their own home.

Hi Tracy,
You shouldn’t have to leave. If you are unable to come to an agreement between you as to who should stay, you can ask a court to consider the case and they may move the tenancy back to you solely.

Hi Heather,
You might find these articles useful-
Making a will.
Avoiding inheritance tax.

Hi Stu,
If you need to, you can force a sale to realise your share of the equity when there is any.

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Hi Nicola,
Yes, that’s the case.

Hi Marie,
As the house is in his name, he can sell. Your contribution to living costs, unfortunately, make no difference unless you are to prove to a court that you’d agreed between you that your payments would entitle you to equity. You’d need strong proof that this was definitely the arrangement. If you managed this, he could still force the sale, but you’d get some of the proceeds.

However, you also could sign a separation agreement to make some binding arrangement allowing you to live there as a kind of tenant. If you are unable to come to terms a court can intervene to give you the right to stay, or even sign the house over to you.

Hi Gary,
As the house is in her name alone, it is hers in the eyes of the law regardless of who actually paid what. The only exception would be if you could prove you’d made a formal agreement between the two of you that your contributions were made explicitly in return for a share of the house. You’d need definite proof to persuade a court of this.

Hi Tracey,
I’m assuming the house wasn’t in joint names? If not, then no, she’s not entitled to a share of it.

Hi William,
She has no legal right to stay, as it’s solely your home (unless a court has ordered that she can say, or you have a separation agreement that says she can.) If you need to have her removed, call the police. If you use force you may be committing a crime (depending on the specifics of the situation.) Avoid doing so.

Hi Grace,
You could have a deed of separation written up. This could outline what would happen should you break up. A judge will follow the document as being legally binding as long as; it is reasonably fair, covers all assets (i.e. nothing is undisclosed) and it wasn’t written under duress.

Hi Fiona,
Given the situation you’ve described you should seek expert help immediately. You can call citizens advice call 08444 111 444. Bear in mind that if this things are all in his name, they are not legally your debts.

Hi John,
He can force a sale to realise the money he put in, that is unless a court deems that it would be overtly detrimental to the child. She wouldn’t be able to force him to keep his money in the house other than in the situation just outlined.

Hi Laura,
Funds from the sale of a house in joint names are usually split according to who has paid what. If you’ve paid a 100%, you should get 100%.

Hi Tania,
You have the right to enter the house as it’s your mums and she’s given you permission. If he’s taken her keys without her consent, that could be treated as theft. You could try informing the police, but it might be better to try and express your concerns to the hospital staff or call citizens advice for more advice 08444 111 444.

Hi Azza,
It is partly your home and you should be able to force a sale to realise some of the value if you need to leave and need the money. The only exception would be if a court decided this would be detrimental for your daughter. You could also get a court order allowing you to stay if you are unable to come to an agreement and look to settle things that way.

Hi Tracy,
As they were an unmarried couple, unless his will states otherwise, the estate will go to his relatives and not his partner.

Hi Morag,
He is still financial responsible to for the children. Try calling the child support agency and take a look at their site here for more on getting maintenance.

Hi Michael,
Normally when someone sets up their pension they name a beneficiary for the money to go to if they die. However, as the money in question is from your dad’s pension I can’t say if it is possible for your mum to name a beneficiary. I would expect that this would be outlined somewhere in the court settlement? I’d have to advise you to seek legal advice on this. It’s hard to give an answer with out all the specifics.

Stu Stu

I have a joint mortgage I pay 25% she pays 75%
I'm also on the deeds if there is no equity in the house what can I do

heather titley heather titley

My partner and I have brought a house, two thirds share is mine, one third is his. I have two children (18 and 21) from previous relationship. We want to make wills, what advice can you give me in terms of ensuring my children get their maximum potential out of the house and any financies I would have, should I die before my partner?

Tracy Tracy

Hi , I have lived with my partner for 8 years & the relationship has irretrievably broke down he has informed me tonight he is leaving & no longer loves me & I have come to a decision of my own accord based on that that I no longer want to continue in the relationship & officially end it . The original tenancy of the house was in my name only & I added him as a joint tenant & my actual only worry is not for the contents of the house but of actual keeping a roof over my head for me & my son as I have no where to go. I was hoping that someone could give me some advice on this . Thankfully all the bills are in my name & we do not have a joint bank account so it should be pretty straight forward i hope as its stressful enough. Like I say my main concern is to keep a roof over my head , i realise now i made a dreadful mistake as adding him as a joint tenant & Im quite prepared for him to remove whatever items he sees fit from the house as they have little or no value to me & are all replaceable Id really just like some good advice of where i stand with regard to the house during this difficult time. thanks up front for anyone who can help

Susan Susan

I own my house outright and the only name on the Deeds.(although my partner pays me rent) I would like to add my 2 children onto the Deeds, how do I go about this and what are the costs involved?

Elle Elle


I had been with my partner for 4 years. After we had a child we moved in together -the mortgage was just in his name as it was a repossession and I couldn't get a reference quick enough from my work as I was on maternity leave. I have now left my partner. He is still living in the house and had no intention of selling. Do I have any rights to equity? I am now liking to rent a home for my son and I and could do with money to help with that. We lived together for approx 18 months, during this time I contributed to bills and shopping. Where do I stand with this?



Garry Garry

Hi advice please me and my ex partner have a joint mortgage she moved out of the property 1 year ago in this time she has not contributed to the mortgage or any bills at all.The house is up for sale when eventully it is sold her months of her share of the mortgage payments ie 50% can this be deducted from the the settelment figure she is due ?
Thanks in adavnce

MIchael Gee MIchael Gee

Partner moved in to my paid for house 13 years ago. That house was sold 7 years ago and this new house bought. I agreed her name go on deeds Extra cash required was my all money. No Mortgage.
Now she wants to go so what can she take? Thanks

Amy Amy

I have been with my boyfriend for 5 and a half years. The mortgage a d deeds are in my name only and I play for it each month while he pays utility bills ( this isn't equal). Can you please tell me what his rights are as he frequently reminds me that as he has contributed to the 'running' of the house he would be entitled to half. Please clarify many thanks

kym kym

mother in law has died recently and co owned a caravan with her partner.(they werent married) Caravan needs to be sold as next of kin do we get half proceeds from sale as been told by site owner that her partner gets all proceeds is this right??
Do next of kin have any say in this??

ian simpson ian simpson

I have a joint mortgage on a house with my ex partner.We have a son who is 6 years old and lives in the the house with her. I am now stuck whereby I need equity from the house so I can move on in my life. I have been told that I cannot force her to sale as my son lives in the house. We were never married. I am not working and I need my equity. While I care about my son I do not consider that he has to live in that particular house She could have her half of the equity and move into a private rented house or apartment. Please advise what legally I can do thankyou

Michael Michael

hi, my mum and dad divorced and as part of the divorce settlement my mum receives half my dads private pension, my mum is terminally il and when she does die what happens to the pension she received from my dads private pension?

does it go to my mums surving children or does it just stop.

Many Thanks


Hi, we own our home outright (jointly purchased 50/50)
Ex moved out after assaulting me, if he stil responsible to pay bills (scotland) we have 2 children together aged 7 &3.
He works full time in good job where as I have stayed at home to look after children and do not currently work.
Not entitled to goverment help due to savings at present.
Any help appreciated

Tracy Tracy

Hello. My father died having joint ownership on a property with his partner for 10yrs (they were together 30yrs) where do my siblings & i stand regarding any monies owed? regards Tracy

Azza Azza

Me and my partner have been living together for 13 years,we have a joint morgage if we split up do I have to leave or can I stay,she is telling me to leave and I carnt sell the house because of our daughter

Tania Tania

My mum has a terminal illness and she hasnt gotten long to live. Her partner who has openly said is very jealous of mine and my mums close relationship, refuses myself and my sister access to their house. My mum and dad seperated and divorced, my mums money from the sale of the house put all her funds into buying the new house, paid for the conservatory and log cabin at the end of the garden to be built and in short paid for everything. They had to get a mortgage together to pay for the rest, which comes out of my mums bank account! He has another property and monies from the sale of his deceased fathers house, but wont put any money towards clearing the debts on this house. The mortgage is lapsed, the insurance for the mortgage lapsed. Mums bank account is overdrawn, so still nothing is being paid, as she has spent so long in hospital. Her pension is being eaten by the overdraft. He says whats going on between mums illness and him and the consultant has nothing to do with us and he verbally bullies her while shes in hospital. She has brain cancer and cant fight back or answer questions when he demands whose been to see her and when she cant answer he yells at her telling her she can remember. Hes split up our family and they are all against us because hes been telling lies etc. and has even taken mums front door key away from her so we cant go up there and get her clean clothes etc... its such an awful place to be right now. So how do I get access to her house?what can I do? he looks through her phone to see whose called, the visitor book to see whose been to see her and tries all he can to take control of everything and my mum completely


fiona fiona

hello I have been renting a flat jointly with my partner for 4years, its an abusive relationship that i am planning to break from everything is in his name bill wise and on credit cards etc even my wages are paid into his account, he says if i leave him i will be in trouble as they are my depts but i have paid things monthly each pay day with him and seen as im leaving he will be keeping all the possions, i dont want to get into money problems as leaving him means i have to leave my job so i cant pay for things we brought together that he will be keeping, what are my alternatives or am i able to refuse to finnish paying for these things i no longer own??

Laura Laura

Hiya I got a joint mortgage with my ex partner a year ago but before we got the keys for the property me and my ex partner split up so I moved in to the property alone and have paid the mortgage and bills by myself for the last year and also paid the deposit by myself I have proof from previous bank statements that all this has come from me alone, will my ex partner be entitled to anything from the house if i was too sell it?

John John

My daughter has a 4 year old son, her partner moved out 3 years back. They bought a house (joint tenancy!), he contributed 11 per cent my daughter 28 per cent deposits; she has continued paying the whole mortgage. Questions: can he force her sell the property; can she force him to leave some money in until such time as his son reaches 18?

grace grace

hi i have moved into my partners house he bought the property 2 years ago and i have lived here for 1 year paying 400 a month direct debit into his account (the same what he pays for his morgagte) I would like to now go onto the morgagte as he wants to have a baby but doesn't want to get married, he doesn't want me to go onto the morgagte as worried if we split up up he would have to give me some of his hard earned deposit which i understand but i need some secruity!! if i was to go onto the morgagte and get a clause written up what is the norm for what il be entitled too, hope you can help!!!

William William

House is in my name only, my partner moved in 8 years ago, I pay all the bills, untility etc, she has never worked and has contributed nothing towards costs, solicitors are involved but things just dragging on, whats the position if I throw her out, police etc.?

Tracey Tracey

Hi, My father-in-law died a few weeks ago & now my brother-in-law has been telling us that my father-in-laws girlfriend has aid she's entitled to some of his estate even though she's not named on the will. The will states that it is 50/50 between my husband & his brother. She never lived with my father-in-law on a regular basis over the last 11 years that she was with him. Does she have any rights to any of his estate ???


Gary Gary

Hi, I bought a house with my ex partner, She paid 70,000 and I paid 130,000, as I was working Abroad at the time of the purchase I told her to go ahead with it. I never returned for a few months and had basically forgotton about putting my name on the deeds. I've also paid for everything new in the house, now we have split up she says I'm getting nothing, Can I claim anything at all, she has never worked and I have all the proof of payments .

Marie Marie

Hiya I have lived with my ex partner for 11 years, my name is not on the morgarge I can prove I have paid bills and I am paying for the kitchen. He left me and his two children 5 months ago he is now threatining me with selling the house can he do this? The children are 11 and 14 years of age

Nichola Nichola

Hi my child was born in 1998, both myself and the father are named on the birth certificate, so does that mean the father has parental rights

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Hi Sharon,

If the house is in her name, it belongs to her alone. She can force him to leave if she so wishes. He has no legal claim to the house.

Hi Clifford,

As it is in your name only, you can have her leave. With the debt it depends on whether you had any formal arrangement between yourselves that can be construed as binding.

Hi Mark,

If the house is in joint names, you’re legally entitled to force a sale so as to realise the value of your share in it.

Hi Stephanie,

That partly depends on whose name the house is in. If yours, you can stay, even if he has contributed the majority of the money.

If the house is not in your name, the two of you could draft a Separation Agreement that states you are to be able to stay in the home, which would also give you the right to live there. If this isn’t possible, a court can intervene and give you the right to stay there and, if they think it best for your child, they can even transfer the tenancy to you.

Hi Mike,

Yes, she automatically inherits his share.

Hi Lena,

Unless his will states otherwise, unfortunately you have no legal claim to the house (assuming it was in his name only.)

Hi Laura,

Both of them have the legal status of ‘Parental Responsibility’. However, they are able to agree between themselves their roles in a child’s life, and if they can’t decide a court can make a judgement on the matter.

aly aly

Our relationship has ended but he doesn't want me to stay in the house even though we have a 3 year old. Our joint mortgage is in negative equity so if I leave the house with our child how do I remove my name / obligation from the mortgage and if I can't then how do I protect myself from mortgage arrears or debts he may run up, or get a futre mortgage?

Laura Laura

Hiya. If both parents are on a child's birth certificate, and theyr not married do they have equal rites, if they split up? Thanks

lena lena

Hi I have lived with my partner common law for 16 years in a housing associastion house he was a pensinor I paid some bills but not rent then a few months ago he bacame I'll I became his full time carer as he had termanal cancer he has sence died and I don't now were I stand as his daughter moved in 3years ago and was paying rent do I have any rights becouse I was his full time carer 24/7 he could only stay in his house becouse of me bein there as his daughter is always away for weeks on end

mike mike

My dad died, leaving no will and his house was in joint names with common law wife(never got married), what happens in this case, does the house now automatically go to her?, thanks mike.

Stephanie Stephanie

I've been with my ex partner for 5 years we have a 2 year old son we have a part buy part rent house I work part time we pay for the property together he pays abit extra as he earns more he is also a heavy drinker and drug user what are my rights to remain where I am as I don't want to move my son from his home

mark mark

I was with my ex girlfriend for approx 17 years and we bought a house together witch I put down the deposit and paid the mortgage and bills for approx 16 years. as I moved out she stayed in the house with the two children we had a verbal agreement that if we ever split up the house would be sold the mortgage would be paid off an the rest divided between us. I keep asking her when is the house going to be sold and would she like to buy me out of the house and getting no answer back ? she has now moved her boyfriend into my house that is unemployed and i am living with my new girlfriend. unfortunately I has lost my job and have been working in another job for less money an now I am paying c.s.a. (that I set up) but because I am on a low wage and paying csa I couldn't afford the mortgage payments so she has been paying it. its been long enough I want the house sold or her to by me out so we can both get on with are lives. I think I have been very fair with her over this situation.

clifford clifford

I live in a housing association property it is in my sole name and when my partner sold her house due to getting into financial difficulties I agreed to let her move in for a while. 2 years have passed and well things are going sour. My partner loaned me money out of her house sale to buy a car for work and the household computer. Now wants the money back even though I am unemployed and she has become the main income earner and is paying a majority of all the bills I can not get any unemployment benefit or housing benefit and owe the JSA, Housing benefit, CSA and several others including court fines and other debts some debtor and collectors are now at the door as such . I have asked her to move out but she has no money to do so I am stuck without kicking her out onto the street in a dead end relationship where do I stand regarding the debt I owe her , and where do I stand regarding me being able to ask her to leave

sharon sharon

my mums mortgage is in her na and she has always paid the bills which are also in her name. Her partner of 25 years has been constantly unemployed. She is now 77 and in poor health and he is telling her half of everything is his. Please help

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Here are answers to some of the questions raised in the comments section. We hope you’ll find them useful and informative;

Hi Rose,

As the house is only in her ex-partner’s name, your daughter’s options are limited. She could make a formal Separation Agreement to allow her to stay, but this would require his cooperation. Legally, if he continues to insist she leave, her only options are to either do so, or ask a court to transfer the property to her, which they can do if they feel it necessary for the protection of the children. With the background you’ve given, it sounds like this could be the course to pursue.

As for abuse, it would be advisable to make the police aware of the situation.

Hi Toya,

As the house is in joint names, you are both liable for the mortgage (in the same way you would be if it were just in your name). As your name is on the mortgage, if you want to leave, you can actually force the sale of the house, thereby raising the funds to pay off the mortgage, however, the funds from a sale are normally distributed in proportion to how much each party has paid on the mortgage, so that sounds like it wouldn’t be of much help to you. Your best options sounds like it might be to get your name taken off the mortgage by signing the property over, and then leave.

Hi Ruth,

Unfortunately, the money you’ve contributed to the relationship doesn’t actually give you any legal claim to live in the property and he could potentially ask you to leave.

Steps you could take to avoid this situation would involve writing up a Separation Agreement allowing you to stay in the house. As you are still together, you could also look at refinancing and going for a joint mortgage. This way, you’d have some rights to the property in return for the money you’d be paying.

Hi Rachel,

Whether you can recover those funds will most likely depend on whether it was purchased in joint names, or just his. Generally, you have no claim to possessions that are legally in the name of your partner. Of course, if you had a written agreement, that would change things again. Sounds like it’d be best to seek legal advice.

Hi Chris,

If the mortgage was in joint names, you can recover those costs by forcing the sale of the house. If it was solely in your partner’s name you’d need to have some evidence of a formal agreement between you stating that you’d get back what you put in.

Hi MAngel,

With the mortgage being in your name, you don’t actually have a legal obligation to pay him back for the money he put towards it, unless there was a formal agreement between the two of you that that would happen.

However, if the renovation involved buying materials in his name, they would count as his, and he’d be entitled to take them. New sofas, for example, could be removed if they legally belong to him.

When it comes to children, only you as a mother have the automatic legal status of parental responsibility. Whether he does or not will depend on various issues, such as being the named father on the birth certificate. If you can’t come to an agreement, a court can intervene to impose an arrangement. Usually, they’ll give both parents access.

Either way, you’re both financially responsible for the child.

Hi Helen,

Unfortunately, unless the current home is also in her name or joint names, she won’t have a claim to it.

Hi Isabelle,

As the mortgage is only in his name, he is liable for it, but this means he doesn’t need your permission to sell it and he can ask you to leave. However, you can create a Separation Agreement if you’re still on good terms that would allow you to stay. A court could also transfer the property to you if they feel it necessary to protect your children.

As for him being named on the birth certificate, this means he has the legal status of parental responsibility for the children. (You have the same rights.)

In terms of housing a simple solution could be for him to rent to you, or transfer the mortgage to you if he doe

emily emily

I have been with my partner for 19 years, we have a joint mortgage, i gave up full time to raise his 2 children and then went on to have 2 of our own, i have always worked part time to fit in with children, he insists house is all his, i am entitled to nothing as i do not pay any bills, please advise if this is the case.

isabelle isabelle

hi ive lived with my ex for ten yrs we have two kids together his name is on the morgage. now we have split up and his left the house i dont no what im entitled to i have ppaid for bills etc but gave him cash and i only have building reciepts i paid for to do work on the house. his on both of the kis birth certificates just dont no what to do.

helen helen

hi my mum moved in with partner and had her name on deeds of house,they then moved to another property after selling the home,now my mum sadley is dying,does she own half this property with proseeds from previous home gone in to buying this one,they are unmarried but she did contribute to mortgage which is now paid off,partner is saying he won`t py for funeral etc how does this stand in law.

MAngel MAngel

I have just split from my partner. He has moved back in with his parents. The house is all in my name, apart from a few bills. We have renovated the house over the past three years and he has put money towards this. He wants a share of the house when i go to sell it. Is he entitled to this or any money back? (we aren't married)
We also have a 3yr old. he's said that she will live with him full time when he moves into his house. This isn't what I want at all. Where do i stand?

chris varnam chris varnam

I have just split with my partner of 11 years and whilst we where together I paid a mortgage of £15000 and a credit card bill of £15000 off have I got any rights to half of the property that I paid for?

Rachel Rachel

Weekend cottage which is owned by my ex - partner however I contributed 1/7th of the funds for the purchase of the house, confirmed via bank transfer. He wants my belongings removed should I or should I not until I have received these funds back? My ex partner's solicitor produced a legal document about these funds which we never signed.

Ruth Crittenden Ruth Crittenden

Hello I have lived with my partner for 18 years and have always paid half the bills and more for DIY etc.

Also he has not got a mortgae and has said I do not need to pay rent.

As his work income is low he is now saying I have to pay rent.

However when we visit my relatives I always pay now for petrol and Bed and breakfast etc. and buy him clothes.

I also pay for holidays for both of us.

I also pay for the food bills

And he has mood swings.

I pay £450.00p a month and on top of that I pay for food and leisure.

Please advise.

Toya Ellis Toya Ellis

I live in a hose that my ex partner and I bought 5 years ago, but he only lived there for a few months. Then he walked out on me and two children. He has always paid the mortgage. Now he doesn't want me to leave. Will i be liable for half the mortgage if i leave and go into a council house. I only work twenty hours a week now as i am pregnant by someone else.

rose rose

Hi my daughter isnt married. Property is in her partners name only.T hey have 3 children and shes pregnant with a 4th child He has left her for another woman they both are drug takers my daughter does not He has this in common with her and says he loves this new person he is playing mind games with my daughter saying he wants to make it work she is very streessed her partner is a nasty piece of work finding more things out about him demanding to see kids but hes a drug addict he is mentally abusing her should she stay in the house he wants to sell should she go to cort and ask to stay in house till kids 18 hed make life difficult because he wants money

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Hi Rachel,

As the house and car are in his name, they'll remain his and, unfortunately, you won't be able to lay claim to them.

Rachel Rachel

Hi I have been with the father of my 2 children for 15 years, I live in his house which has his name on the mortgage he brought me a car which is in his name also,just wanted to know where I stand now that we have decided to seperate thanks

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In the circumstances you’ve described. The only way you’d be able to get the full status of ‘legal parenthood’ would be to adopt the chid, should that ever become an option.

Aside from the status of ‘legal parenthood’ there are a separate set of rights termed ‘parental responsibility’. If you were appointed as a guardian in your partner’s will, you will have these rights and will be able to take decisions in raising the child. Aside from being named in the will, there is no other way for you to gain these rights, as you aren’t legally a step-parent.

However, you could still win the right to have access to the child via a ‘contact order’ (where a court determines that those with ‘parental responsibility’, in this case the biological father, have to allow somebody else regular contact with the child, such as visits or stays.) You can apply if you lived with the child for three or more of the last five years. Even if you didn’t, you can ask the court for permission to apply.

For more information on how to apply follow this link and scroll down to the section titled ‘How to Apply for a Court Order’.

gareth gareth

I have been with my partner for 4 years now and brought up her son as my own from a baby, his father has never been bothered with him, he calls me daddy now, Sadly my girlfriend has just passed away aged 27, her son is 6 years of age and now his father has him, well he works away all week and leaves him at his mums, then is always in the pub and takes the young one with him, I aint able to hae him myself now, and i know my girlfriend would of wanted nothing more than for him to be with me, i want to bring the boy up the way he wants and should be, if he continues to live with his father i fear it will ruin the poor little boy, Do i have any rights or am i just gonna have to get used to the fact that not only has the man made my girlfiends life a misery but also our sons as well??????

dancer dancer

If the mother lives in a different country and the father in england does she have any rights in taking him to court for anything? Thanks

mary cherry mary cherry

My father recently passed away.His girlfriend has not yet picked up his remains from the funeral home and they have told me that my Brother and I have no rights to them.Is there anything we can do? we are very concerned that if she does pick them up they will not be disposed of in the correct way.also my younger Brother has tried to collect on policies and now is mad because the company has refused to send out monies without all of the siblings signatures is there anyway to make the insurance company issue equal checks instead of one lump sum.Thank you

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Hi All,

Hopefully these points of information will clear up your questions.

• June- Your partner can make no claims on the proceeds of the sale as the house is in your name. The only exception would be if you’d made a clear cut agreement between yourselves that he’d get some of the money. Even then, he’d to provide evidence of this agreement.

• Marta- As for your property, you’re in the same position as June (see above.) With regards to your son, he can’t take him away from you unless a court orders it. If you fear that he’ll fabricate evidence against you, try and make sure that have evidence of his intention to do so which you could produce should need be.

• Tracy- The house belongs to both of you, it’s both your responsibility. Either of you can force its sale in order to get their share out.

• Jordon- That would depend to an extent on her will. Unless she’d specifically left it to you, unfortunately, you don’t have rights on her belongings. Her daughter does.

• Laura- If the possessions are in his name, unfortunately, you have no right to them.

• Paul- They have no right to your possessions (unless any of them are in their name or in joint names.)

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Hi All,

Hopefully this will clear up your questions;

• June- Your partner can make no claims on the proceeds of the sale as the house is in your name. The only exception would be if you’d made a clear cut agreement between yourselves that he’d get some of the money. Even then, he’d need to provide evidence of this agreement.

• Marta- As for your property, you’re in the same position as June (see above.) His payments can be seen as rent, they give him no lasting rights.

With regards to your son, he can’t take him away from you unless a court orders it. If you fear that he’ll fabricate evidence against you, try and make sure that you have evidence of his intention to do so which you could produce should need be.

• Tracy- The house belongs to both of you, it’s both your responsibility. Either of you can force its sale in order to get their share out.

• Jordon- That would depend to an extent on her will. Unless she’d specifically left it to you, unfortunately, you don’t have rights on her belongings. Her daughter does.

• Laura- If the possessions are in his name, unfortunately, you have no right to them.

• Paul- They have no right to your possessions (unless any of them are in their name or in joint names.)

june eggett june eggett

I was living with a partner who moved into my home which is in my sole name He has since left and I am selling the property to move. He is demanding half of whatever money is left over after the mortgage is paid, i.e £30K, he wants £15K. He has helped with bills since he moved in which he should do as if he lived on his own he would have to pay rent and living expenses. I have been told that he cannot demand half, can you help please. I am willing to pay him some money but cannot afford to pay him half.

Marta Marta

Hi, please advise where do I stand.
Property is on my name but my partner has contributed torwards the payments. Also property is in negative equity. Can he claim it?
Second thing, our son was born in 2006 and is dad is on birth certificate, can he take him away from me?
He threatens to put drugs in my car to prove that I am a wrong kind of person to bring up a child and to try to put me in trouble.
Please advise what is the right way to go about all of this.
Thank you in advance

tracy tracy

the house is in joint names and if one of us leaves who responseribities is to pay mortgage or who gets the house and could you sign it over to one or the other

Jordon Wales Jordon Wales

My partner of 17 years has just sadly passed away, her daughter has taken all the jewellery I bought her even the engagement ring, I am devastated she has done this do I have rights to claim this back?

Laura Laura

How do you stand with possesions when your partners parents bought most of the possesions in the house in your partners name, but this is due to the fact that I pay the rent and my partner does not contribute to the rent, the amount in rent I have paid is alot more than the cost of the posessions (sofa, bed, washing machine etc) would I have any right to any of these posessions at all?

paul paul

how does the law lie with an ex partner holding onto personal belongings of mine saying the reason is monies owed, these things include personal documents including vehicle log book, insurance cert etc.

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Hi Dennis,

As per the article, you are still entitled to realise the value of what you pay towards the house. You should even be able to force a sale of the house if you want to get the back the money you've invested. If you're paying 100% of the mortgage, it is 100% your house assuming you were never married. All the Best, UK Net Guide

dennis dennis

if i leave the family home has my partner got the right to stop me from entering the home even tho i will be still paying the mortgage


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