A man’s attempt to obtain a half-share of his ex-partner’s property after they split up failed recently when he could not persuade the Court of Appeal that his decision to have his name removed from the deeds, taken more than 20 years earlier, should be ignored when determining the ownership of the property.
The decision of the County Court judge was that the man should receive nothing in respect of the property, given that he had ‘contributed little’ to its purchase. On the facts presented, the Court of Appeal ruled that his application for permission to appeal was ‘hopeless’ and leave to do so was therefore refused.
This is yet another case in which the courts have supported the legal form of the arrangements made by a cohabiting couple in the absence of truly compelling evidence that some other arrangement should apply.
It is naïve to believe that ‘justice will be done’ in such circumstances: a living together agreement or other legal agreement regarding the division of assets in the event that a relationship does not last is an inexpensive form of insurance.