Family, divorce, Kent, grounds for divorce, reasons for divorce, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells

Financial claims on property

In the last of our short films we look at whether you have any financial claim if your partner is the sole owner of your home.

If you have any further questions, or would like to arrange an appointment to discuss any legal issues you may have, please do contact us.

To see other films, in which members of our Family team answer the top ten questions we are asked on divorce, financial settlement, cohabitation and civil partnership, follow this link.

Cohabitants do not have the same rights as a married couple. If you separate and the property is in the name of the other party, in order to make a claim against the property you will have to show that you have an interest in that property. This can be achieved a number of ways:

An express trust which is a written declaration stating that the other party is to have an interest in the property.

A resulting trust – in which money has been provided and there’s a common intention between both parties that the party providing the funds has an interest in that property.

constructive trust, which entails the person making the claim successfully establishing that there was a common intention that they should have an interest and they had acted to their detriment as a result.

Proprietary estoppel – the person making the claim has to prove to the court they were led to believe they were going to have an interest and that as a consequence of that they acted to their detriment on reliance that they had an interest.

If the non-owning party seeks to remain in the property, there is the possibility of applying for an occupation order to prevent them being evicted. This can be complicated. If there are children involved there are other potential claims that can be made, such as a transfer of the property for the benefit of the children. This is a temporary measure as once the child is 18 or has completed secondary or university education, the property will revert back to the legal owner – so it protects the position whilst the children are minors.

All of this very much depends on the particulars of your case and it is always advisable to see proper legal advice.