I am looking for some advice for my friend. Her partner (not married) and her are having problems to the point that it looks like they may split. They have been together 9 years and have 3 kids aged 5,3 and 1. She is concerned about what her rights are if they split up as he is telling her all sorts of things that may not be true.
Kids: She does not work. Will she automatically be entitled to have the children? Her partner is saying not and that he will not let her take the children away and that he will give up work to look after them. She is petrified she may lose her children.
The house: Is there a general rule as to what each partner is entitled to on a common law break? They have a house together - I don't think they have a mortgage. Can he be forced to move out and leave her and the kids in the house - he says he won't do it. Might they be forced to sell the house and then is it half and half or do they get back exactly what they put into it?
Where can she go for some advice? She lives in Essex so does anyone know a good solicitor? I think she should get some advice now in case things do get nasty.
it's quite complex and every case is taken on it's own merits. in general no she can't force him to leave his own house, unless he has been physically abusive. since they are not married she would not be entitled to half the house, just what she put into it. custody is decided based on who the main carer is not who has the most money. however because they chose to never get married they are treated as seperate legal entities completely. the idea of common law marriage is pretty much dead in modern law and as such he will have no financial obligations to his ex.he will be obliged to provide for his children however.
as i said at the top every case is taken on it's own merits and i am only talking in very broad terms to give you an idea of what to expect as her friend.however i would stick with the advice above as a solicitor who is familiar wioth the particulars of the case will be able to give far more constructive advice.
I've never known an unmarried father getting custody of his kids (unless the mother was a registered drug addict) - the custody automatically lies with the mother if they are not married. He's just trying to frighten her.
She can't force him to leave if though, if he doesn't want to.
I had this last year - I was entitled to half the equity in the house as it was in joint names both on the mortgage and the deeds. I could have (if I wanted the ruck) got some of his half under schedule 1 of the childrens act for the children - Mumblechum (I think!) was the person with loads of great info for me.
The kids came with me - I was the main carer and there was never any question that they wouldn't. It is impossible to get them out of the house if they wont move out unless he is violent and then she will need to get the police involved and get an injunction.