Never-married couple-split; house-sale where 1 legal owner of house & mortgage

Kloppy

New Member
Messages
7
Edited by Brendan for clarity

Longtime lurker, first-time poster.

Long story short-ish ...

My partner bought a house in her name...

Me, male 45 bought a Dublin house in 2011 Euro300k and lived there together until mid-2018 when I moved out. She returned to her home country mid-2019 and is selling now, I have just discovered. Estimated selling price Euro500k.

We never married and as a contractor during the recession with bouts of idle-time, we wouldn't have received the mortgage if I had been added to the application. She bought in her own name, and fronted the total of the deposit and most of the furnishings. The idea was that I would repay her my half over time.

I was not on the mortgage either

Over time with further bouts of idleness, the intended amounts were never paid - rather instead, extra large monthly expenses incurred for the family were taken over by me alone. All other bills/expenses to that point were mostly 50/50 despite my financial shortcoming although I did pick up various house expenses including management company expenses and other such usually-legal-owner-characteristic expenses. These other expenses were not insignicficant either and incurred for the children's benefit.

Recession then ended, and property climbed in value. And we became parents.

I am renting now again, and think I could be left without anything especially as she is overseas and is sole legal-owner/mortgage-holder. Suspect foreign country would request children upkeep (and anyway I wouldn't want to be that Dad to have to explain to grown-up sons that I hadn't contributed to sons' upkeep). So between foreign travels in these & future years, rental expenses and kid-maintenance, I don't expect to be cahs-flow rich.

What rights if any, exercisable or not, under Irish law do I have? What is a fair buy-out price, even if not exercisable under law?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,701
Me, male 45 bought a Dublin house in 2011 Euro300k and lived there together until mid-2018 when I moved out. She returned to her home country mid-2019 and is selling now, I have just discovered. Estimated selling price Euro500k.
Did she buy or did you?
 

Kloppy

New Member
Messages
7
She bought. We considered we bought together at the time. Nothing specific laid down, there may be some old emails alluding to 50/50 intended split of this our then-family-home.
 

jim

Frequent Poster
Messages
558
Did you contribute to the deposit and is there record of this?
Is there record of you helping to oay the mortgage?
 

Kloppy

New Member
Messages
7
No, no contribution made to the initial deposit when the house was paid for although a few thousand was paid as part-payment towards this to her in later years.

Subsequently any repayment capacity was eaten up by this extra sizeable monthly payment we incurred for our daughter's benefit, private school. I paid 50% of the variable rate mortgage although my monthly d.debit payment to her remained the same regardless of actual variable interest rate.

I paid her car insurance, management company fees - even acting as a Director for four years on the Board - , contributed 50%+ towards garden landscaping (very sizeable bill in first or second year), bins and other utilities. I might - must check - have paid house insurance at least once.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,811
Hi Kloppy

First of all, what does your solicitor say?

Your name is not on the title deeds
You contributed nothing to the deposit on the house
Your name is not on the mortgage so you never had any liability for it.
You have no legal agreement as to ownership
You left the house two years ago

You contributed to the upkeep of your children.

I am not a lawyer, but I can't see how you have any claim at all. Having said that, there are funny laws in this country about the family home and maybe there is an angle there.

If you have a letter or email from her setting out that you own the house equally, you might have some claim.

Have you a separation agreement?

What have you agreed on the maintenance for the children?

You should certainly make a claim for a share in the house as part of any legally binding separation agreement.

She might then agree something with you e.g. In exchange for you giving up your claim on the house, she will not require any maintenance for the children.

Brendan
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,701
There are rights for cohabiting couples in your situation. You may be entitled to a share in the proceeds of the sale if you contributed to its upkeep.

Bear in mind any rights may be difficult to enforce if she is abroad. There is also the issue of maintenance for kids too which you've given little detail on.

Talk to a solicitor specialised in family law.
 
Last edited:

Kloppy

New Member
Messages
7
First of all, what does your solicitor say?
- None contracted yet.

Have you a separation agreement?
- None.

What have you agreed on the maintenance for the children?
- Am continuing to pay usual share of everything.

You should certainly make a claim for a share in the house as part of any legally binding separation agreement.
- Separation agreement but not married?

She might then agree something with you e.g. In exchange for you giving up your claim on the house, she will not require any maintenance for the children.
- Profit on house running about 270k in total. Is giving up even a small share here, leaving me without deposit for new accommodation worth it?


- Should I seek to block the sale until the above separation agreement & divvy of proceeds is agreed? I think I have been left short-end of the stick here and could see situation where she takes the money-and-runs. In the short- to medium-term I would travel to same city overseas to be close to daughters.

Family relations are good right now, full visitation rights etc.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,701
- Should I seek to block the sale until the above separation agreement & divvy of proceeds is agreed?
IANAL but I suspect it would be difficult to block the sale.

You would have to lodge a court claim that you have rights under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 . But this would be an uphill battle as you have nothing on paper that gives you any rights.

I repeat: talk to a solicitor soon.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,811
Do couples who were not married who have children not come to some agreement when they separate?

I think you should do so and fold the agreement over the proceeds of the house sale into it.

Your solicitor will advise.

You can lodge what is known as a lis pendens to tell potential buyers that litigation is pending.

Brendan
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,648
She might then agree something with you e.g. In exchange for you giving up your claim on the house, she will not require any maintenance for the children.
Separate item.

All parents are legally obliged to support their children. It's the child's maintenance; not the primary carer's.
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,648
Yes but these two issues will both inevitably be on the table as part of any potential agreement.
Child maintenance is not an item 'on the table' for negotiation. Every parent is legally obliged to support their child, the amount of maintenance paid to the primary carer is based on both parents income and expenditure.

If the issue of child maintenance were to be the subject of a court order, a Judge in Family Court will give exactly the same response.

The OP would be well advised to seek a court order for the child maintenance they are already paying; that way there is a clear paper trail. You don't need a solicitor to do this.

Is the house currently rented out? Who is getting the rent?
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,701
Child maintenance is not an item 'on the table' for negotiation. Every parent is legally obliged to support their child, the amount of maintenance paid to the primary carer is based on both parents income and expenditure.
Based on the facts the OP has a legal right to a share of the house sale proceeds no less than he has a legal obligation to support his children.

Both parties could in theory sue each other separately to vindicate these rights. But they are probably most sensibly sorted out in tandem, with both parties knowing what their own, and each others', rights are.
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,648
they are probably most sensibly sorted out in tandem,
indeed, but one is not traded off against the other.

Based on the facts the OP has a legal right to a share of the house sale proceeds no less than he has a legal obligation to support his children.
One is a definite (child maintenance) and the legal basis cannot be challenged.

The other (share of property) is possible and can be challenged.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,811
One is a definite (child maintenance) and the legal basis cannot be challenged.
Surely the amount can?

If a judge hears that my income is €50k and the mother's income is €30k , presumably he will make one order.

If he hears that the mother also has €200k cash, which is the proceeds of a house I allege we bought together, presumably he would make a different order?

It's not my area, so I don't know.

Brendan
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,648
There's no trade off between the two.

The child maintenance applies independent of property.

The maintenance is the child's legal right; it can't be traded away.

Jack (non resident parent) has income 50k expenditure 20k
Jane (primary carer) has income 50k expenditure 45k this incl mortgage payments.

(Made up figures no idea if they are accurate)

Lets say there's one child and maintenance for Jack is at €85 per week.

That maintenance is payable (and reviewable) until the child is 18 or 23 if in full time education; or longer if the child has special needs.

This couple aren't married, so the Family Home act doesn't apply; if it did then settlement of the family home would be included as part of the overall settlement process.
There are several options in regards to the family home, the overriding principle (rightly) is the welfare of the child(ren).

If Jack believes he is entitled to a share of either an existing property or the proceeds of a property that has been sold;
then I believe he will have to show his contribution in the time they lived together.

Contribution does not necessarily have to be financial; though it's a lot easier to document.

If one parent has a chunk of savings then a portion will be considered income and included in the assessment for child maintenance.

Edit to add: it's not clear if this property is sold / unoccupied or rented out. If Jane is collecting rental income then that will factor also. I believe if Jack is successful in a claim for a share of the property then he would also be entitled to a share of the rental income.
 
Last edited:

EO2020

Registered User
Messages
27
You didn't buy the house, she did.
Her mortgage. Her deposit. Her furnishings. You promised to pay but never did.
You left over 2 years ago and she lives abroad, any claim now would seem to be too late.

You can try to stop her selling, but it would be costly and you aren't likely to get much out of it, if anything, at this point. It's her house. Are you going to tell your children that you took their mother to court to stop her selling her house, that she bought when you could not?
 
Top