Home owned by one partner only
An unmarried couple aged 52 and 43. The family home was in man’s sole name as he already owned it at the time the parties met. They agreed the mother would give up work and stay home to care for the three children. After being together 23 years, they decided to part ways. The home and savings were all in the man’s name as he was the sole wage earner. The man also had a good pension.
The mother, despite giving up her career, was entitled to nothing as she had not contributed towards the purchase price of the home nor the mortgage secured on it. She was not entitled to any maintenance for herself or for her children as they were all over the age of 18. She was not entitled to any of his savings or a share of his pension.
Had she received an inheritance during the marriage and applied the monies to the improvement of the home then she may have been able to bring a claim in respect of this financial contribution to the home, but she would have had to rely on complex property law principles. Legal action of this nature is complex, lengthy and extremely expensive and the prospect of success limited.
Could it have been different?
Whilst she would never have been entitled to his pension had she had a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement she may have been entitled to a share of the home, savings, cash and maintenance for herself as they could have agreed on this when they made the joint decision that she would give up her career and stay home to raise their children.