The law has changed significantly with respect to co-habitees in recent years. The leading House of Lords case of Stack v Dowden established how courts should approach ownership issues where such a relationship has broken down. Courts will now examine the history of contributions by each party to the relationship, what were the parties’ intentions during the relationship as evidenced by their conduct and not simply restrict itself to the named legal ownership of any property in deciding what it believes to be a fair division of assets.
Each case will turn on its own unique facts and the courts will rely on presumptions and the intentions of the parties in coming to its conclusions as to how to divide property between the parties. This is a challenging exercise that requires careful preparation to either establish a presumption of beneficial joint ownership or to rebut such a presumption.
Please speak to one of our solicitors for detailed advice and assistance on these matters.