Rights on split after cohabiting for less than six months

Hi, on behalf of my son who is trying to get a solicitor meeting.
- bought house in December 2021 with girlfriend on joint mortgage.
- she declined to a prenuptial agreement as it would end relationship
- she put in 7k, he approx 45k.
- she has not paid towards mortgage citing food bills as her contribution.
- Long story short, all ended 2 weeks ago after long term domestic abuse (not physical) from her.
- she is in house, he back at ours. She wants to resolve by selling house and splitting profit 50:50 meaning she way more than she put in.
Question - cohabiting less than six months, does she still have the right to half even though not paid any towards mortgage ?
Thanks for any help or advice.


  • Assuming they sell for at least what they paid, they can both take their deposit back then agree on how to split the proceeds. 

    If he paid the mortgage and he agrees that she paid for the food etc then what is the actual monetary difference they’re disagreeing over? If fairly small I’d just chalk it up to experience and move on. 

    As a first home and only 6 months mortgage paid then I wouldn’t imagine it’s a large amount. 

    Is she paying the mortgage now she’s living there alone. And is she paying all of it or just her half?
  • thegreenone
    thegreenone Posts: 961
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    It should have been documented to the Lender, who put in how much, as deposit and this should be returned as stated.  TBH, in five months I don't think there would be much profit and it will probably go to the EA and Conveyancer/Solicitor.

    If she declined a pre-nup, I'm wondering if she has a history of doing this.  I hope your son is prepared for a bit of a haul to get her out.
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783
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    If it's a joint mortgage and she's actually living in the property now, I agree with thegreenone, above, it's going to be a bit of a battle to get her out. And also, to reach an agreement that your son finds reasonable. 

    Any agreement is going to need her to act in a reasonable manner, which seems unlikely from what you have said.

    See what the solicitor says - I'd advise a meeting asap. We on this forum could speculate all day and night but we don't know all the details of this particular case. 
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  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546
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    - she declined to a prenuptial agreement as it would end relationship

    Alarm bells should have been ringing. 

    Declarations of Trust are common documents to protect individuals financial interests (prior to them getting married). 
  • Sea_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,218
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    The trouble is, that even if you had a plethora of signed documentation, confirming pre-agreed splits etc. you still have the problem of getting them to actually agree to sell, or move out.

    If they dig their heels in and stay put, then what?   Will she sell if she can't get her way?  

    Without any such agreements, it will make it even harder.

    Who's now paying the mortgage?
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  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    - she declined to a prenuptial agreement as it would end relationship

    Alarm bells should have been ringing. 

    Declarations of Trust are common documents to protect individuals financial interests (prior to them getting married). 
    mmm, makes one wonder if it was all part of her plan.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    If there was no declaration of trust, then legally she is entitled to 50% of the equity 

    IF he were seeking to claim more than he would have to be able to show that there was a joint agreement or intention that they would get their respective deposits back if they separated - given that she proposed a declaration of trust and this was refused he would struggle.

    You mentioned a pre-nup? - were they actually engaged? If so, then the courts have a little more lee-way but it is a rarely used bit of law and he'd need to get some specialist advice as to whether it would help him .  
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,715
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    If she owns 50% of the property and nothing previously agreed on proportions when sale of property then she is entitled to 50% of profit, same as she would be liable for 50% if loss.  
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,233
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    By 'profit' do you and she mean the increase on the deposit?  Or the equity?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,770
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    Selling up after so short a timespan, you will be lucky to cover the costs of buying and selling. The original equity will be eaten away.
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