Rights of a House

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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yogaprbyogaprb Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
I have owned by house for a number of years and have a large amount of equity mainly due to parental gifts. I want to move my long term girlfriend in with me, she has a child from a previous relationship and has been living with her parents for 3 years. If she moves in with me could she claim any rights to a share in the house even if she is not on the Deeds?

Also if we got married and we did not have kids, if we then got divorced would she get the house even if the daughter is not mine. I want to protect the money my parents gave me as it was a significant sum and a large part of their life savings

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  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    First scenario is maybe- if she pays towards the mortgage she may gain a beneficial interest.

    Second scenario is again maybe - the child is irrelevant but marriage means assets are joined together; she would have a claim on a percentage of all assets, as would you
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    See a solicitor and make a will - he/she will talk you through the whatif's .
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  • buildersdaughterbuildersdaughter Forumite
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    One of our family has a similar situation.

    Definitely see a solicitor, but before you do, work out what she will be contributing. This can vary from:
    Nothing: she lives with you, pays her share of bills etc. but does not contribute to the house
    In kind: she does work around the house eg: decorating & repairs, so has an interest in it.
    Some financial: she contributes towards maintenance & improvements.
    Rent (I think this is the most complicated, but some couples find it simple for the first 6-12 months)
    Paying half the mortgage from the point of moving in.

    How you divi up on separation / divorce will depend on what she has contributed. For instance:

    My relative has a solicitors' agreement, stating that from the point of moving in together, they will be jointly responsible for the mortgage, upkeep, bills etc. On separation, my relative will be repaid £xxxx (the amount he/we have put in to begin with). He decided to forego interest, as it is is more complicated, but you may wish to include this. On separation, he will be repaid this sum, then the house will be divided equally.
    Another way of doing this is to say, for example:
    House worth £200k at present (you would need to get a proper valuation for this).
    You have contributed £100k, ie: 50%.
    On separation, you get the house valued, and you get your 50% back. The remaining 50% is then split between you.

    If she is contributing less, you can work it out accordingly. You also need to review this every so often to make sure it is fair on both sides, especially as circumstances change.

    You may also wish to think about your relationship with the child. If there is an active father, then legally, your role is small. However, if you effectively become a step-father, you need to consider your legal position. There is no hurry on this, but could be a factor later.

    And good for you for thinking about this and getting organised now.
  • onomatopoeia99onomatopoeia99 Forumite
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    Comms69 wrote: »
    First scenario is maybe- if she pays towards the mortgage she may gain a beneficial interest.
    Provided that there is a shared understanding that such an interest is being created, thereby creating a constructive trust. Seems there won't be any such shared understanding when one party is keen to protect their ownership of the property.


    The OP should get legal advice from someone qualified with indeminity insurance though, not from the internet.
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  • KynthiaKynthia Forumite
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    It's only possible for someone to gain a beneficial interest in your property if they meet certain conditions and then sue you for it. It's not as easy and automatic as people make out.

    If you married then the property becomes a marital asset. There's several things that wpuld be considered if you divorced and no-one can say for sure what a judge would decide.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    Provided that there is a shared understanding that such an interest is being created, thereby creating a constructive trust. Seems there won't be any such shared understanding when one party is keen to protect their ownership of the property.


    The OP should get legal advice from someone qualified with indeminity insurance though, not from the internet.

    Provided that the judge believes there is a shared understanding...
  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    yogaprb wrote: »
    I have owned by house for a number of years and have a large amount of equity mainly due to parental gifts. I want to move my long term girlfriend in with me, she has a child from a previous relationship and has been living with her parents for 3 years. If she moves in with me could she claim any rights to a share in the house even if she is not on the Deeds?

    Also if we got married and we did not have kids, if we then got divorced would she get the house even if the daughter is not mine. I want to protect the money my parents gave me as it was a significant sum and a large part of their life savings

    With so many doubts , I wouldn't even be considering moving someone in.
  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    Kynthia wrote: »

    If you married then the property becomes a marital asset. There's several things that wpuld be considered if you divorced and no-one can say for sure what a judge would decide.

    While its statistically likely the OP resides in england, its best not to make blanket statements like the one in bold as the legal position is different elsewhere in the UK.

    OP, getting married and your partner having a child....this can affect divorce settlements particularly if you treat the child as part of the family/financially provide for them. I would second the suggestion of getting proper advice on this one.
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means - Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
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