I am separated. Can I be forced to sell the house if my partner never contributed towards the bills


It is important to know your rights upon separating from your partner. You might think that what you put in is what you will get out but this is far from the truth.


What happens to our property after separation?

To become a registered owner of a property your name needs to be on the Land Registry database as an official record of the land or property.

If your partner is a registered owner on the title deeds of your house then they may have a legal right to go to court and seek an order for sale of the jointly owned house. You can, if possible, buy out their half of the property.

Does My Partner have a Beneficial Interest if they made contributions?

A beneficial interest is based on contributions made to the property and the intentions of both partners as to ownership and interest. It is important to think about whether you and your partner jointly intended to share the property when it was purchased. If yes, then they may have a beneficial interest.

There are a number of ways your partner could establish a beneficial interest, for example, include:
  • Written evidence that it was intended for your partner to have a beneficial interest - such as a signed agreement, declaration or a deed with your partner setting out your intentions
  • Applying to a court who will look for any evidence of a common intention
  • Any contributions made, such as lump sums, mortgage payments and substantial work being done to the property

What if we have Children?

Even if you have children the court can still order the sale of your property. If you have children together then it can make an application for financial provision under the Children Act 1989. That could potentially result in your partner not being able to realise their interest in the property until the children are no longer dependent.

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