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COHABITANTS: Home truths

12 May 2017  

Mark Pawlowski summarises how a non-owning cohabitant can obtain capital provision under the Children Act 1989

In the typical case, a non-owning cohabitant will seek to claim a beneficial interest in their partner’s house by relying on a constructive trust based on either an express or inferred common intention between the parties that ownership of the property was to be shared. Assuming a common intention (coupled with the necessary detrimental reliance) is established, the task of the court is then to assess the actual proportions in which the parties intended to hold the property by reference to what they expressly agreed or, failing that, by a process of inference or imputation from the surrounding circumstances. This approach stems from the combined effect of the House of Lords’ rulings in Lloyds Bank plc v Rosset [1990] and Stack v Dowden [2007] and the Supreme Court decision in Jones v Kernott [2012].

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    A v A (A Minor: Financial Provision) [1994] 1 FLR 657

    Burns v Burns [1983] EWCA Civ 4

    Jones v Kernott [2012] WTLR 125

    K v K (Minors: Property Transfer) [1992] 2 FLR 220

    Lloyds Bank plc v Rosset [1990] UKHL 14

    In the matter of N (A Child) (Financial Provision: Dependency) [2009] EWHC 11 (Fam)

    PG v TW [2012] EWHC B36 (Fam)

    PG v TW (Child: Financial Provision) [2014] 1 FLR 923

    Phillips v Peace [2004] EWHC 3180 (Fam)

    Stack v Dowden [2007] WTLR 1053

    Steinfeld & anor v Secretary of State for Education [2017] EWCA Civ 81

    T v S (Financial Provision for Children) [1994] 2 FLR 883

Last modified on 12 May 2017