Hasty Decisions In A Relationship May Prove Costly After The Relationship Breaks

Posted by Richard Payne on May 13th, 2016

Cohabiting couples often assume that moving in together as a couple creates the same or similar rights and responsibilities to that of a married couple. This is not the case as English law does not recognise any other way of co-habiting other than marriage or civil partnership, state Curry Popeck solicitors in Harrow. Therefore, co-habiting couples have no legal duty to support each other financially, or share ownership of their possessions, savings, investments etc. However, there is one exception to this law; if your partner gives something to you as a gift you have legal rights over it, but this would need to be proven in the event of separation.This is displayed in a recent case involving a wealthy plumber and his Lithuanian girlfriend:

When Mr. H met his Lithuanian girlfriend, Miss C in 2004, he was going through a divorce from his first wife. Mr. H ran a number of heating and plumbing businesses and employed around 50 members of staff. The wealthy businessman would spend lavishly on Miss C throughout their relationship, which included buying her a Bentley, jewellery and fashion clothes as well as taking her on luxurious holidays to destinations such as theMaldives and Thailand.

When their relationshipencountered problems, the couple split in 2013. Soon after the relationship ended, Miss C claimed ownership of their second home in Hertfordshire, in which they never lived. This claim, however was refuted by Mr H. While Mr H had put the property in her sole name, he said that the property belonged to him as he had put down the deposit and paid the mortgage.

The matter was taken to court where the judge ruled that the property did belong to Miss C. The judge went on to say that if Mr H could spend lavishly to buy the house, there was no reason to think that further amounts like the deposit and mortgage payments were any different. The judge further said that Mr. H clearly intended that Miss C should own the property legally and beneficially and therefore, Miss C was entitled to the legal right over the property.

Taking into account the money Mr. H had spent on Miss C throughout their relationship, it may seem logical that he intended the property to be hers.

According to Curry Popeck, Harrow solicitors, the rights of unmarried couples are different from those of married couples. When a cohabiting relationship breaks down, the division of assets is different from what some people may envisage.

Therefore, if you are a cohabiting couple, it is very important to have a cohabitation agreement in place, clearly setting out what should happen in the event of a relationship breakdown. Furthermore, if you use your money for a property in your partner’s name and do not intend it to be a gift, you should ensure that there is a clear declaration of trust to that effect.

If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in the article, or need advice on a number of different aspects of law, contact Curry Popeck, solicitors in Harrow Middlesex, by visiting their website-http://www.currypopeck.com/


Richard Payne

About the Author

Richard Payne
Joined: January 13th, 2016
Articles Posted: 13

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