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Millions of unmarried couples throughout the UK could soon be welcoming a wholesale change in separation rights following the landmark case of a couple who broke up almost two decades ago.

The change in cohabitant rights hinges on an upcoming Supreme Court ruling, which will decide whether a man, Mr Kernott, is entitled to half the value of the property he shared with a former girlfriend.

According to the case details, the couple separated in 1993 after sharing a house in for eight years. Mr Kernott moved out of the property, leaving ex-partner Ms Jones to pay the mortgage, maintain the property and bring up the couple’s two children.

But Mr Kernott claimed for his half of the property decades later, arguing that he was entitled to half the value of the property because the couple owned equal shares when they separated and neither had done anything to change the situation since.

Ms Jones disputed his claim and both the County Court and the High Court agreed, awarding her a 90% share of the property’s worth.

But Mr Kernott has appealed successfully through the Court of Appeal and Lord Justice Wall has since said the case should serve as a “cautionary tale” for all cohabitants buying a house together.

Ms Jones has now launched her landmark case against the ruling of The Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court will decide whether a Court can infer that a couple have altered their respective interests in a property if there is no specific agreement or evidence confirming the same.

The case continues.


Written by Andrew Hodges

May 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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