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My partner and I want to split. Who is entitled to stay in the home that we jointly own? Do we have to sell and split the money?

29 September 2021

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Question by samantha

I live with my partner (not married) and our disabled daughter. The house is jointly owned. We want to split. Who would be entitled to stay in the home or would we have to sell and split money?

He wants to have our daughter every other week. Is this a sensible arrangement? She is 11. I think my daughter would prefer to live with me. Who will decide who gets what time with our daughter?

Answered by Matt Angell

Hi Samantha,

Lots and lots of things to consider here but my starting point would always be to have your daughter at the centre of everything that needs to be considered as if you can both do things as amicable as possible the better to make sure this emotional journey that you will all go through limits the impact on you daughter as much as possible.

With regards to the property, you both have an equal right to stay within the property and this is something that would need to be considered between you both. One thing that you would need to consider if you were to remain within the property is the affordability of buying your partner out of his share as removing him from the deeds, the mortgage company would normally complete an affordability check.

If you choose to go through the courts, then they can decide if it's in the best interests of your daughter that you stay within the property or not.

However, things to consider on how the property is split would be determined is how your ownership is written up: Is it either Joint Tenants or Tenants in common?

Joint tenants.

You do not own the shares in the property and it would be an equal split regardless of the financial contribution made.

Tenants in common

You each own shares in the property and these can be equally split or if not 60/40 as an example, if not equal then this would normally appear in a document called a declaration of trust.

I would certainly recommend gaining some professional help if you can't come to an agreement amicably and I'm sure you will both take your daughter's needs as a priority to what you both do going forward.

In relation to how your split your time with your daughter in my experience of working with lots of family law professionals it really does differ completely and I'm very much a fan of allowing your daughter to spend a good amount of time with you both as you both will have a huge role in your daughter's life. Again something to chat through together and also involved your daughter too if the conversation is calm and considerate.

This can also be decided by the courts if you need to go down this route but if you want to save on costs and time then try where you can to work together on the best possible solution going forward.

I wish you all the best going forwards and if you need anything else then please ask away.

Best Regards


Answered by

Matt Angell

Founder & Financial Planner

I am the founder of Creative Lifestyle Planning, an independent financial planning firm that works with many families across the UK. Matt specialises in helping families to answer those all important questions they have on their mind and helping many clients gain a clearer, simply understanding of when and how to they can retire.