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Separation but not married

(12 Posts)
takethatno1fan Thu 11-Aug-11 09:04:56

Hi, I know you can't give legal advice, but anything anecdotal might help if you've been through something similar.

My sister has separated from her partner, who she's cohabited with for 2 years. They have a child of 1 year old. She's contributed to bills, expenses, the car bought most of the stuff for the baby etc, but for reasons i'm sure not required here, she's decided to leave him. The trouble is, she sold up to move in with him, gave all her stuff to charity and has literally nothing to her name with which she could set up home.

However she's found somewhere to rent and she's going to get things from the house this weekend. She doesn't need furniture or anything that he bought before they were together, but he's being really awkward about what she can and can't take, in fact he's almost implying that she's not getting anything from the house, and that she's using the child to blackmail him, which really couldn't be further from the truth.

He's really uncommunicative, about everything and anything (part of the problem really), and accidentally'/on purpose cuts off the phone while she's trying to have a sensible conversation about things. He's also said that "it was her decision to leave", implying that if she want's custody of her half of the chopping board then she needs to move back in with him!

What I could do with knowing is, how does this work in practice. Surely she's entitled to things that have been bought since the time they started living together as a family, and she started contributing. She absolutely doesn't want to extort money from him or anything like that, she just wants to get herself back on her feet, as she was before she met him.

Does anyone know who would help, or what we could do to help her get not only what's rightly hers, but also to get him to come round to the idea that what he helps her out with just now, is actually to help his child get a better home.

RabbitPie Thu 11-Aug-11 09:33:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

takethatno1fan Thu 11-Aug-11 09:36:33

He's turned out to be really materialistic unfortunately.

PeppermintPasty Thu 11-Aug-11 09:39:53

She should go straight to a solicitor. She would get Legal Aid even though they have been slashing it, for some preliminary advice at least. When she sold up, did the money just pay off mortgage/debts, or did it go into the household? If yes, she would be entitled to some return, but she needs advice on her specific circumstances.

takethatno1fan Thu 11-Aug-11 10:10:26

None of it paid of any debts off, she didn't have any. She made a profit on her place, but almost all of it has been spent by both of them on household expenses/joint spends etc. She's been to see a solicitor, who's told her that she'd likely be entitled to an amount from him, plus child maintenance. BTW, he lives in a house that's worth nearly a quarter of a million and he has an 8 grand mortgage on it! I'm just worried about what happens if there's a confrontation this weekend when she turns up with the van, or if he's had the locks changed. Could the police advise on this?

PeppermintPasty Thu 11-Aug-11 10:29:10

They might advise, but I suspect that would be it-I think I'm right in saying that they wouldn't necessarily get involved in a physical sense, unless there's a history of incidents between your sis and her ex. Has she any friends that could go with her? The thing is, she's certainly entitled, but if he's a dick he's not going to hand stuff over so going to the courts may be inevitable sadly. Does he know she intends to go round?

Incidentally, this may seem like a small thing, but to protect the money she has put into the household she should think about registering her interest in his property with the Land Registry. This would, for example, prevent him selling his house from under her nose without paying her what she's entitled to. The form is an RX1 and can be downloaded from the LR website. Maybe not an immediate priority, but something she should bear in mind.

cestlavielife Fri 12-Aug-11 11:47:50

if not married she not entitled to any maintenance for her - only for the child. she can look at CSA website
www.csa.gov.uk/

if her name is not on the house deeds (did they take out joint mortgage when she moved in? register her as joint owner? if not she has very little elg to stand on after just two years) then she would have to prove she has made contribution to it to stand any chance of anything from sale of house. but two years is very little time - unless she eg paid for a big extension or something. what happened to all the money from her property sale?

belongings -well yes she should just go in and take what is hers. but if is his house in his name he can legally ban her from entering, change locks etc.

she shoudl get elgala dvice but moving in with someone from two eyars and not getting your name on mortgage or property - well she has very little rights to anything. only to maintenance for the child from his salary.

takethatno1fan Fri 12-Aug-11 22:52:59

Also, any idea what my sister has to do in terms of access for the father? I've suggested that she makes every effort for the father and child to see each other at the weekend. In some ways, she is scared of letting him have access unacompanied for reaosns which probably aren't necessary to mention at the mo. If it came to the crunch, is she within her rights to refuse to let him see his child?

FabbyChic Fri 12-Aug-11 23:08:27

She can refuse however it would be better to get a mutually convenient time for him to see the child. She should not have left the house with what she felt she had contributed to it. She cannot prove what she has purchased. Why did she ever put her equity into buying things for it?

If she can prove she done that she would be in a better position should she have to go to solicitors.

takethatno1fan Fri 12-Aug-11 23:19:06

It was down to trust. She believed that they were both soul mates and she got into what she thought was a mutual partnership. It all went sour, but she didn't see it coming. She's absolutely gutted, she's skin and bone, absolutely despairing. I feel so sorry for her. She'd have been better off as a single mother in her own flat... but now she's penniless and homeless.

We've been to a solicitor who believes that under Property Trust Law, she may be able to claim some of her losses from him because she got into the relationship in good faith, demonstrable by their joint bank account, her contribution to household costs, selling her house for under the asking price etc....

cestlavielife Fri 12-Aug-11 23:36:50

she needs very concrete reasons eg abuse violence reported to police concerns about child's welfare in care of the father etc to say no contact at all - but she could offer contact centre or supervised by a third party like a relative or friend.

she is going to be hard pushed to prove she put money into the house but the joint account etc may show something. solicitor will advise her - it is about establishing benficial interest under TOLATA www.rcsolicitors.co.uk/chiltern-family-law/living-together/guides/land.htm
but contributing to costs - may not put her above a lodger status legally ....

she can however push for child maintenance

cestlavielife Fri 12-Aug-11 23:37:58

she might need to dig out emails or letters between them in which they discuss her selling her house and putting money into his etc - could be difficult....

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