Co-habiting partners legal precedent to be decided

Posted: 05 Feb 2007 10:50:41 GMT


            Property News - Co-habiting partners legal precedent to be decided

The legal status of hundreds of thousands of unmarried co-habiting homeowners could be decided by a case which reaches the House of Lords today

The legal status of hundreds of thousands of unmarried co-habiting homeowners could be decided by a case which reaches the House of Lords today.

Dehra Dowden and Barry Stack have run up massive legal bills over the London home that they bought together because they did not sign a "declaration of trust".

The case, which will be heard by Law Lords over the course of this week, will set important precedents for more than two million couples currently cohabiting in the UK.

The couple's first home was purchased in Ms Dowden's name and she paid the balance of their second home when they traded up, although it was bought in both their names.

On their separation after 20 years, the county courts agreed a 50/50 split, but the appeals court revised this to a 65 per cent split in Ms Dowd's favour.

Mr Stack, who earned less than Ms Dowd throughout their partnership and paid less for maintenance and home improvement work, is now appealing this decision in the Lords.

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