Sooo…you meet, you fall in love, you move in. Happy ever after, right? Until it’s not.That day when one of you decides that l’amour is no more.
The truth is that YOU ARE NOT MARRIED. In the eyes of the law you are simply COHABITEES. And this is when life gets a little more tricky. Take a deep breath and learn this universal truth that THE LAW DOES NOT COVER COHABITEES.
If you were married then all of your finances would be dealt with under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
But we have children, a house together, a mortgage, loans together, savings together. What happens to those?
There is no quick fix to getting a remedy to any of the above and there are several laws that will help. I am going to break it down as simply as I can.
CHILDREN: You can make an application under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 for financial provision for your child/ren. Don’t confuse this with child maintenance payments. Different thing entirely. An order under Schedule 1 can provide for a lump sum payment; settlement or transfer of property and periodical payments that are above the CMS calcs. These would potentially include school fees or if your child/ren are disabled and he/she doesn’t receive all or some of his/her disability benefit.
HOUSE: This can be settled under The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (ToLATA). This Act can decide who are the legal and beneficial owners of a property, and in what proportions. If the two of you cannot come to an agreement as to what to do with the property then an application under this piece of legislation may be the ticket.
Rule of thumb: Money follows children.
LOANS: So you both are incredibly in debt, you both have loans and credit cards. You may even have loans that Aunt Maude lent you for that kitchen or that expensive guitar you’d always had your eye on. You may have left the house and forgot to take your Ming vase.
A way that you could get a remedy for this under small claims court. Thankfully the Government have made this process fairly simple and you can make an online claim.
MEDIATION: None of the above should be attempted without mediation. Who wants to go to court? NO ONE. So it is in everyone’s best interests to see if an arrangement can be achieved without the courts’ involvement.
It can be a maze out there. It is far from straightforward. In order to obtain any kind of financial remedy after you gone your separate ways requires planning and picking which would be the right application for you.