My partner and I are separating, we have lived together for 5 years (mortgaged) and we put the house as 50% equal shares despite me putting in 70% of the deposit. He said he would pay half the mortgage and I didn’t trust him if I didn’t put as equal shares (my own fault I know but he is a bully).
Shortly after moving in I inherited some money and spent some on renovations (bathrooms etc £20k). He has spent £0 on the house.
My partner contributed around 30% to mortgage and bills and basically sponged most of my inheritance (£50k) spending it mainly on drugs.
We have a son (unplanned he didn’t want) who is nearly 1 and he’s made it quite clear he’s taking the 50% equity and I won’t get and cms due to him being self employed. His job means he works away most of the time so he won’t have a lot of contact so I’ll be pretty much bringing our son up on my own.
We tried mediation as i would like 70% of equity. He won’t budge and I’ve received a letter saying he’s now taking legal action to force the sale, and will make me pay his legal costs.
Has anyone had experience of actually successful gaining a higher percentage of equity despite contractually signing joint 50%?
Has anyone had experience of being able to stay in the property and holding his share in trust until the child reaches 18?
I am on the fence to give in and walk away for my own health or fighting to gain some financial security for our son.
Are you married? I am assuming not from what you've said, but I think it will make a big difference to what you can do about this. I'm sorry you are finding yourself in this situation, it must be hard.
It is worthwhile searching for 'Equitable Accounting - Some Basic Principles' and having a read of the results from various barristers' websites.
You are going to struggle with proving that the property is not jointly owned as the transfer document would have mentioned this. Your conveyancing solicitor will no doubt have advised on this issue when the property was purchased.
The inheritance is less clear. If you can demonstrate that the home improvements were paid by you, mainly through invoices and receipts, and that these have added value to the property, you should be able to claim a greater share of the property.
In relation to your child, delaying sale until the child is 18 is known as a mesher order. This is available to married couples under the Family Court procedure.
If unmarried, the financial application is a matter dealt with under the Civil Procedure Rules which doesn't deal with the needs of any children.
If you want to delay the sale of a property you can make an application in the Family Court for an order under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 which allows the other party's share of the property to be used by the child until a certain age.
It's not a straightforward case and I would suggest you obtain legal advice from a lawyer specialising in family law as there are quite a few issues to consider.