Woman collapses in court after judge rules that she did not have a claim for a half-share in her ex-boyfriend’s business
The harsh reality of a cohabitation separation hit Miss Turner hard as Judge Alan Johns QC ruled that her ex-boyfriend, Mr. Durant, had not promised to marry her and she did not have a claim for a half-share of his business. After judgment was delivered, Miss Turner fainted onto the desk in front of her and the case was adjourned while she received medical attention.
Mr. Durant and Miss Turner were in a relationship from the late 1980s to 2014 and had a child together however they never married.
Miss Turner claimed that Mr. Durant’s business was worth ‘millions’ and that he promised her a 50% share in the business. Miss Turner said that she put £200,000 life savings into buying their home and asked Mr. Durant to match that contribution however Mr. Durant said that he needed cash to grow his business and instead promised her a half share in his company.
The fact that Miss Turner could provide no documentary evidence in support of her claim meant that the judge decided that it was ‘inherently improbable’ that Mr. Durant ever made such a promise. The Judge also added that there was no imbalance between Miss Turner and Mr. Durant as he would be paying the £250,000 mortgage on their home.
This case highlights more than ever the importance of raising public awareness of the legal issues cohabiting couples face upon separation.
There is a widespread belief that a ‘common law’ marriage exists however the reality is that cohabiting couples are not afforded the same legal rights as their married counterparts when it comes to property and business ownership.
All of these uncertainties can be avoided by having a Cohabitation Agreement in place so that both you and your partner are clear about who walks away with what in the event of separation. To speak with one of our specialist Family Law solicitors about a Cohabitation Agreement please call 0161 927 3118.