I have separated from my partner, but we are not married – what are my rights?

2nd Apr 2020

Our expert team of Dispute Resolution solicitors are highly experienced in advising unmarried clients who have separated.

Unfortunately, the concept of “common law wife” and “common law husband” are myths.  The rights of unmarried individuals upon separation are not as straight-forward as married individuals.  The rules which apply are entirely separate.

If you are married, the starting point is each party receiving 50% and this figure shifts, depending on, for example, who has custody of the children.

If you are not married but have purchased property together then you should own 50% of the equity in the property, unless you have agreed otherwise, in writing.

If you did not purchase the property together, you will likely need to establish interest in assets by way of establishing a resulting trust, constructive trust and/or proprietary estoppel.  To support your claims, we will need to gather evidence of the both party’s intentions, financial contributions and the entire background and history of the relationship.

Of course, it is preferable to resolve any breakup amicably and without the involvement of lawyers. Unfortunately, individuals do not always agree, and it is important to obtain legal advice, at an early stage to ensure you recover the monies you are entitled to.

We offer a fixed fee service to assist you in advising you of your rights or assisting you in bringing or defending a TOLATA claim.   You can contact our Dispute Resolution Team on 0161 928 3848 or mch@mchaleandco.co.uk.

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