Living together may seem simpler and cheaper than the cost of a wedding, but where property is involved when the relationship breaks down legal rights can become very complicated and expensive.
Quite often a property will be in the name of only one of the couple or one party contributes more to the deposit, but both parties have shared the household expenses, including paying the mortgage. It’s very common for a party to the deny the other party has an equal or possibly any entitlement to a share of the sale proceeds even though they may have contributed as much or even more in respect of household bills.
There are no tidy divorce laws to provide the answers and the couple will have to rely on past cases which may turn on different circumstances, which creates uncertainty. Worse still it may be very difficult to prove in court exactly what contributions were made and by whom unless you have kept all the receipts and paperwork over many years.
Just because there was no marriage certificate doesn’t mean that a couple will feel any less pain at the breakdown of their relationship and are still likely to find that they have the same rows with over whose fault it was, money and contact arrangements for any children.
Asking the court to decide will:
- Take many months;
- Be expensive;
- Cause more distress;
- Mean the parties can’t move on.
Mediation can help parties to get through this painful time and minimise the financial and emotional pressure, so the parties can move on.
- It removes the traditional battlefield of the legal world.
- It enables the parties to talk to each other and not just through lawyers.
- It encourages the parties to work together and look at the bigger picture.
- It helps the parties focus on the future and not dwell on the past.
So, if you don’t want to spend all your savings and hard earned income on legal fees why not try mediation so that you can look forward to moving on sooner rather than later.