Co-habitation and Co-ownership Claims

Our expert Personal Disputes team is experienced in helping separating unmarried couples to resolve cohabitation or co-ownership claims. We understand that relationship breakdown is a challenging time and that resolving ownership of property – often the most valuable asset held by any couple – can be a highly emotive issue, especially if children are involved.

Our specialist lawyers can advise on all aspects of cohabitation disputes, providing jargon-free guidance to help you understand your options and how the process will work.

Our lawyers have extensive experience of working with the Civil Procedure Rules and the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TLATA), and so are best placed to advise you in relation to the legal procedures, costs implications and strategies to achieve an out of court settlement.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Disputes over parties’ interests in jointly owned property
  • Establishing an interest in property registered in the sole name of another
  • Enforcement of Declarations of Trust
  • Protecting personal contributions to the purchase price of a property
  • Preparation of Settlement Agreements

The legal position regarding ownership of property in unmarried couples can differ greatly from that of married couples. For example, this area of law is dealt with in the Civil Court, whereas divorce would be dealt with in the Family Court. In addition, the general position for unmarried couples is that neither party is automatically entitled to an interest in property belonging to the other partner, regardless of how long the relationship lasted, or whether the couple had any children. While property is usually divided equally between separating partners, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement over their respective share of the value of the property. These are typically triggered by issues such as one partner claiming to have paid more into the mortgage than the other or to have funded home improvements that change the value of the property.

Recognising that these are emotionally difficult times, our expert lawyers will provide sensitive advice and supportive guidance on how best to approach TLATA cases and how to achieve the best possible outcomes in as timely a manner as possible.

With such complexity it’s important that you get legal advice from an expert team that will take the time to understand your concerns, take the heat and the jargon out of the situation and help you achieve the best possible outcome.


Ben Sidgwick


Emily Stark


Jenny Carter


Jodie Walmsley

Litigation Executive

Key contact

Melanie Grose

Head of Personal Disputes

Get in touch

Call us on 0800 328 3282, or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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