It is a fact that more and more people are now living together and not getting married.
Many unmarried couples live together under the assumption that if they cohabit for a number of years they have similar legal rights to couples that are married. This is a myth and the reality is the term 'common law wife/husband', doesn’t exist so far as the law is concerned.
When resolving disputes between unmarried couples the court does not take into consideration factors such as:
- how long you have lived together
- who has contributed what to the household
- who was responsible for running the home
- who raised the children
- whether one party has a greater income that the other
Problems often arise where the property is only in the name of one of the parties. In such circumstances, the party whose name is not on the property will have to prove that they are entitled to an interest in it.
There are various ways this interest can be established and these include:
- The owner telling you that you had an interest in it when it was purchased or when you moved in.
- If you have contributed toward the purchase price
- If you have contributed to the mortgage
- If you have made a substantial contribution towards a home improvement
Disputes can also arise when a property is in joint names. These disputes often occur when one party refuses to leave the property or refuses to agree to the sale of the property, which stops the parties being able to move on following separation.
This is often an area of law that is misunderstood. It is therefore vital that you obtain the right advice. At Paul Ireland solicitors we have experts with years of experience in this field and who can advise you:
- of your rights in respect of remaining in or gaining access to the property
- how to force a sale of the property
- purchasing the other parties interest in the property