If you are unmarried, but co-habiting with your partner, and the relationship breaks down, legal issues can arise whereby there is a dispute as to who has the right to remain in a property, particularly if you are unmarried but jointly own it.
The law that deals with cases such as these is called the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, often referred to as TOLATA.
Co-Habiting Couples in financial disputes (TOLATA Claims)
This law gives courts various powers enabling them to resolve disputes about land ownership, where the dispute may relate to the legal or beneficial ownership of the land or property.
Expert Cohabiting Couples Financial Disputes Advice
This can be a complicated area of law, and here at Stuart Gordon Solicitors, we have wide experience in dealing with TOLATA proceedings for unmarried couples. These proceedings are dealt with under civil law, which essentially means that it is necessary to apply to the county court if there is a dispute.
There are essentially two types of application that can be made to the court under the TOLATA legislation. The first involves asking the court to decide who is entitled to occupy a property, and the second is asking the court to decide exactly what the nature and extent of the ownership of the property is. Naturally, these applications can only be made when the property is owned by two or more people.
In short, this allows the court to decide who owns a property, and in what proportions. Unlike financial settlements that occur when married couples divorce, making an application under TOLATA legislation can be challenging, as it is possible that one side will lose everything.
When a couple has a dispute about co-ownership, the court has the power to order a property to be sold to allow the financial proceeds can be divided.
It is important to try to find an alternative to court proceedings where possible, especially in serious matters such as TOLATA, wherein it is very possible that you could lose your home.
Fortunately, there are alternative methods of dispute resolution, and this is also something that Stuart Gordon Solicitors has considerable experience of. This is also important if the case goes to court under TOLATA, as the judge presiding over your case will want to know if alternative pre-court methods have been tried, and can impose penalties if alternative dispute resolution has not been attempted. This penalty often involves having to pay additional costs. It is, therefore, worthwhile trying to avoid court where possible.
There are a number of steps necessary before commencing court action under TOLATA legislation. This includes a ‘pre-action letter’, and the procedure prior to court is legally referred to as pre-action protocol. This is the formal legal process before court.
Stuart Gordon Solicitors can help you with all stages of TOLATA, including court hearings, pre-action protocol and any other stages of the legal proceedings. We recognise that this area of law can appear complex, and so we are here to make things easy for you, by using our first class legal knowledge and significant expertise in this area of law.
Contact Stuart Gordon, Cohabitation Solicitors Leeds
Should you wish to discuss your case with us, our specialised team would be happy to hear from you today. There is no doubt you will have a variety of questions and concerns, and that is what we are here for. To contact Stuart Gordon Solicitors, please phone, email or contact us via the website. We look forward to helping you.