Family Solicitors - With Offices Across West Yorkshire

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When a relationship between unmarried couples breaks down the stresses and pain experienced can be the same as those experienced when going through a divorce. Very often there will be the same matters to consider such as arrangements for children and financial issues. The law, particularly in relation to financial matters is, however, very different.

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Our talented team of solicitors can advise you of your legal position following breakdown of your relationship.  A common concern is in relation to property, either owned jointly, or in the sole name of one person.  This is often a complex area of law.  Your entitlement can depend on a number of factors.

Specialist advice in this area of law is imperative. Your solicitor will take from you full details of your circumstances in order to advise you and assist you in trying to resolve any issues by agreement.  Where agreement is not possible court proceedings may well be required.  Our solicitors have extensive experience in advising on separation and will advise you as to how proceed in relation to matters such as property, financial provision for children and arrangements regarding where the children will live and what contact they will have with the other parent. 

Our family solicitors can help with

Arrangements for Children
Property Disputes
Division of assets

How much will it cost?

At JWP solicitors we always have a transparent approach to our fees. Our solicitors will at the outset of your case set out clearly the likely costs. In most cases we can deal with matters arising out of a separation for a fixed price.  If your case is complex or if you prefer we can deal with your case using our hourly charging rate.  We will also assess you for eligibility for legal aid, which is still available for family cases in certain circumstances.

You can contact us at any time free of charge during the course of, or at the conclusion of your case, with any queries in relation to costs or any other area of client care.

Your solicitor will discuss with you at the outset an appropriate plan for payment of your legal costs.

We now offer comprehensive fixed price packages for most family matters, which include representation at court. To request a comprehensive fixed price brochure please contact us on 01924 387171

Frequently asked questions

Our house is jointly owned. What am I entitled to?

Very often the answer will be that you are entitled to half, in the absence of a written legal agreement stating otherwise.

If you believe that you should be entitled to more than 50% then the onus will be on you to prove that both you and your partner intended for your interest in the property to be different from your stated legal interests, and if so, to establish what your share should be.

The house is in my former partner’s sole name. Am I entitled to a share?

The basic position is that the person that owns the legal title to the property is entitled to all of the equity in that property, unless there is a written agreement stating otherwise. You may, however, be able to establish that you do have an interest in the property if you can prove that you and your partner intended your interest to be different from the legal title.

I have paid the utility bills and for food. Does that entitle me to a share?

Case law has established that payment of utility bills and groceries, on its own, is unlikely to be considered to be sufficient for the court to determine that there was an agreement between you and the legal owner, and that you have an interest in the property. Other direct contributions towards the property, such as payment towards the mortgage or payment for significant improvements to the property e.g. the building of an extension or conservatory, are more likely to enable you to establish an interest in the property.

We have children. Does that make a difference?

The fact that you have children will not generally assist you in establishing an interest in the property. You may, however, be able to seek an Order from the court, to enable you to retain the property as a home for you and the children. Usually such an Order would be until the children turn 18 or finish their education. You would still, however, not acquire an interest in the property and it would generally revert to the legal owner once the terms of the Court Order had been complied with.

In addition if the children live with you then you will be entitled to child maintenance from the other parent. The amount of maintenance to be paid is usually agreed. In the alternative the matter can be referred to the Child Support Agency and the amount of maintenance that you will receive will be dependent on the other parent’s level of income.

Do I need a Will?

It is always sensible to have an up to date Will reflecting your wishes. If you are dealing with family matters, either when entering into a new relationship, or upon breakdown of a relationship then you should consider preparing or updating your Will. A Will can also set out your wishes in relation to the care of any child(ren) in the event of your death.

Gareth Long

Gareth Long

JWP Solicitors Director

Direct Dial 01924 387 171

Delia Crofts-Turnbull

Delia Crofts-Turnbull

JWP Solicitor

Direct Dial 01977 790 029