An article in the Daily Mail on line on 19 July 2016 reports on how a judge ruled that an un-married father of 3 should let the mother of his children keep the house that he bought in her name as the price he had to pay for denying her the financial security of being his wife.
The law does not automatically give unmarried couples any property rights just because one has refused to marry the other or they have been living together for a long time. An unmarried parent might be allowed to stay in the property until the children are 18 so that the children have a secure home whilst they are growing up, but they will not automatically have the right to a share in the property once the children are 18.
The person claiming a right to a property has to show that there was an agreement or shared intention for them to have an interest in the property. This might be in a written document, such as a trust deed or cohabitation agreement, or it might be in the way that they have financed the property or acted on the basis of what they have been led to believe by the other person.
In the case reported in the Daily Mail, the children's father had a property portfolio. He bought one of the properties in the mother's name. When they split up, he tried to claim it back, saying that he had only bought it in her name to make it easier to get a mortgage. However, the judge believed the mother, who said that the house had been bought in her name to give her financial security because her ex had not been prepared to marry her. For further information on this article click here.
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This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.