It seems that many unmarried people believe that following the breakdown of their relationship they must vacate the family home. This is incorrect especially in cases where children are involved.
Where the property is owned jointly by a couple there is an option available to remain in the family home until the youngest child reaches 18 years old or ceases full time education, whichever is the earlier date. To enable you to do this you must however be able to run the property on your own income. Basically, you must be able to meet the mortgage payments and pay the household bills without assistance from your ex-partner.
I have a lot of cases in these situations where the ex-partner refuses to agree to delay the sale of the property. When determining whether you can stay in the family home there are various factors that the Court will consider when determining whether they will grant a ‘delayed sale’ of the property. The most important factor is the welfare of the children and whether they rely on the family home.
There are also certain circumstances when the property is solely owned by your ex-partner where you are able to also remain in the property. Firstly, you may be able to prove that you have an interest in the property as you have contributed to it and believed that it is a family home. The property is then seen to be held on trust by your ex-partner for both of you jointly and therefore you can remain in the property on the same principles as detailed above.
Alternatively, you may be able to remain at the property by obtaining an order to remain at the property for the benefit of the children.
If you find yourself in any of these situations expert legal advice is essential. Stephensons can provide you with expert legal advice to help and assist you. Stephensons provide specialist advice in respect of cohabitation disputes and are able to advise you in respect of all the options available to you following the breakdown of your relationship. If you require any assistance please contact our specialist team on 01616 966 229.
By family executive, Gillian Lavelle