Harold G Walker

Harold G Walker Solicitors

Your Friend-In-Law for over 77 years

Property Rights and Separation


‘My partner and I are separating and because the house is only in his name I am left on the street when I was promised I would be secure at home when we were together’.


Cohabitee disputes, Property rights and separation, Divorce Solicitor, Family and Relationships Legal Advisors Christchurch Rob Price, Family Law solicitors, Divorce lawyer, Matrimonial finances and divorceIt is becoming increasingly common, for couples to live together before they get married, or couples to decide just to live together without ever getting married.


But what happens when that relationship breakdown?


This situation is complicated when there are children involved.


If the couple do not have children, the main points to consider include:


  • If the property is jointly owned and the sharing of equity has been agreed at the time it was purchased (usually in writing), you should expect to be held to your agreement regardless of who has paid what since you both moved in. Either owner of the property can seek the sale or agree for one person to remain living there with a transfer of ownership (often at the same time as a re-mortgage and also payment of a lump sum to the person who is leaving the property).


  • The law is more complicated where, in this case, only one person is registered as the sole owner of the property.


  • If you have moved in with your partner, you might be able to rely on promises made by them that the home is as much yours as theirs. However, proving what has been said can be a challenge.


  • Also, if you rely on a promise (if you can prove what was said), you then also need to prove that you suffered detriment in monetary terms. Mere reliance on the promise which has not also resulted to financial detriment is not enough.


This is just one scenario provided in this article as an example in this increasingly fluid area of law.


Understanding your property rights during separation is crucial for ensuring security and stability during such challenging times. If you’re facing uncertainties regarding property ownership or separation, don’t hesitate to reach out to HGW Solicitors for a free initial half-hour discussion tailored to your specific situation.


Rob Price

Associate, Family Law Solicitor

01202 482202