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Where do I stand? Pregnant and living with DP but house is in his name only.

(10 Posts)
wellhellobeautiful Wed 22-May-13 11:43:52

My DP and his mum joint own the house that DP and I live in. DP pays all the mortgage, I pay half the bills and then whatever I have left over that month I put in savings.

The savings are going towards a deposit for a new, bigger house. So we consider them as joint but the savings account is in my name only.

Until now this set up worked okay for me. I don't have any DCs so I figured if things went tits up I'd just move out and take all the savings with me and find another place. DP and his mum's property would be protected against any claim from me - all good.

But I'm newly pregnant and am now thinking I need to be a bit smarter about where I stand legally. The savings are all still technically 'mine' but if the shit hit the fan it'd be a lot harder to find somewhere else to live with a baby in tow - especially given since I work freelance.

What, if anything should I do to protect myself a bit more? DP and I are rock solid BTW, but I've read so many horror stories on the relationships board I don't have any rose tinted specs on about anything <cynical>.


sicutlilium Wed 22-May-13 12:10:19

Get married?

stickortwist Wed 22-May-13 12:18:08

We were in a similar situation and got married. I wanted all of us to have the same surname too so it made sense

sicutlilium Wed 22-May-13 12:33:48

Useful guide to the differences between marriage and cohabitation here:

wellhellobeautiful Wed 22-May-13 13:58:58

Thanks for the link.

See, neither of us is especially keen to get married. I'm simply not bothered and DP has said in the past he doesn't want to get married - he was brought up by a single mum, never had marriage in his 'template' of relationships IYSWIM?

I'd have to propose and it would be a very business-like proposal!

How exposed would I be leaving myself if we didn't get married?

Thurlow Wed 22-May-13 14:13:09

I'd say you have three choices:

1 - Get your name on the mortgage/house, and both get life insurance that pays out to each other, so that you are covered in the event of an accident, and also if one of you did walk out on the other, no one is left stranded with no equity.

2 - Keep more of your savings aside for you, so that you have financial back up should things go wrong, as you won't be eligible to anything from the house

3 - Get married.

DP and I aren't married and have no intention of ever doing so. We own our house together, all our insurance and pensions are paid out to each other (luckily DP has a pension plan that allows this) and we have made wills leaving our assets to each other. As far as I am aware, by not being married the biggest problems are that you aren't each others legal next of kin, and if you separate your DP would owe maintenance for your DC but not for you.

Getting married is the easiest solution, obviously, but if you don't feel that is right for you and it would cause problems within the relationship then there are other ways of covering yourself. You can always talk to a solicitor to make sure the wills do what you need them to do. IMO, the house is the big issue, and realistically if it is your family home then you both need to own it.

Remember, with DC on the way you need to think about not only what would happen if something went wrong with the relationship and you wanted or needed to separate, but also what would happen if one of you died (sorry that's morbid). You need to ensure that if, say, your DP died, you and your DC were taken care of and wouldn't suddenly be fighting for the house.

Xenia Wed 22-May-13 14:24:32

Follow Thurlow's advice. Also if the savings in your name are from him and you for a deposit he may well be argue even though in your name you hold that half for him in trust so do not assume they will all be just yours if you split and nor shoudl they be if you both contributed to them.

The best protectoin is don't take much maternity leave and keep workign full time once you have babies. I did that and ended up earning 10x my children's father. It real;ly is the way to go rather than just relying on male earnings.

Find out if your boyfriend's mother and he own the house as joint tenants or tenants in common - a legal difference. If the former and he dies she gets his half. You may want to suggest to him they own the house as tenants in common and you do to so that his mother owns her half or her 2/3rds or whatever their shsare are and you and he own his half in whatever share that is or you his mother and he own a third each.

Also put life insurance monies in trust otherwise when you die the state may take 40% in inheritance tax and 40% of his half of the house too.

wellhellobeautiful Wed 22-May-13 15:02:51

Great advice, thanks everyone.

Thurlow Wed 22-May-13 19:45:23

One thing I would add is that you need to think about what you are going to do long term in relation to work and childcare. If you are going to be cutting down your hours at work to the point where your career/future earnings could be significantly affected or you decide to be a SAHP then you possibly do need to think more deeply about this. That's just thinking worst case scenario, but as I mentioned above if you're not married I don't believe that you can claim any of the DP's earnings as maintenance but if you have affected your future earnings a lot, it might be safest to put yourself in a position where he should have to help support you in the case of a split.

As I mentioned, we're happily unmarried but that's because we both work f/t and earn roughly the same amount. If I made a decision not to work or only do a day or two a week, I would want to do more to protect myself.

Xenia Fri 24-May-13 15:04:14

And vice versa too. Had I not been married to my children's father (I earned 10x what he did) I would be much much better off now as I would not have had to pay him such a big divorce settlement. If you earn more than your other half you are better off avoiding marriage. Plenty of women even after babies earn a lot more than their partners these days.

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