Unmarried Couples’ Property Rights Challenged

Unmarried Couples

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case which may set an important precedent on how unmarried couples should divide their property if they decide to separate.

The Court of Appeal ruled that Patricia Jones and her ex-partner Leonard Kernott should both be awarded an equal share of the home they owned.

Miss Jones is challenging this decision as she had paid the mortgage on the property alone for 13 years after they separated.  The property was in joint names and the couple have two children.  Miss Jones had not received any child maintenance.

Had the couple been married a divorce court would have been able to look at the contributions made and decide what is fair.  However for unmarried couples the court has to apply legal principles which mean as the property is owned in joint names it should be shared equally.