Currently the law in England and Wales is very different as it applies to married and unmarried couples who wish to separate.
If a married couple separates the court will look at a range of factors in determining how money and property should be divided. However, for co-habiting couples the law simply says that property should be divided according to ownership. This means that the equity in a jointly owned property would simply be split 50/50 regardless of the level of contributions made by each party.
The Supreme Court is now being asked to rule on a case on this very issue. The parties owned a property together but following their separation the female partner paid off the mortgage alone. Despite this her partner then sought to obtain his 50% share. If the court rules that their shares should be unequal this could have very serious and important consequences for all unmarried couples who own property together. To read the BBC News article on this case click here.
To discuss your rights following a separation if you are married or co-habiting please contact us.