Has my ex got any claim on my house?

Q My partner of eight years (we weren’t married) left me after his second affair and he moved out 13 months ago. My home is mine: the mortgage is in my name and I had owned it for three years before we met. The only bill he ever had his name on was council tax. He did, however, give me a monthly amount which paid for his share of the bills and food, most household items, trips out and holidays. We have no kids together, although my own teenagers live in the house with me.

Now after an absence of 13 months and no payments from him he wants me to give him what he calls “his share” of the equity in my house. My most pressing argument is that I have battled for more than a year to successfully pay my mortgage while he has contributed nothing. If I had paid nothing for 13 months the bank would now own my house. Surely, then, he cannot do this? DC

A No, your ex cannot claim a share of your home, and that’s not just because he hasn’t helped pay the mortgage for the past 13 months. According to Vicki McLynn, an expert in family law at Manchester-based solicitors Pannone LLP, your ex would need to show that you had intended him to have an interest in your property, which given what you say you clearly didn’t. The onus would be on your ex to prove his case, which would be a pretty tall order and extremely difficult for him to do.

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