Mother of two Joy Williams has been awarded by a Judge at the Central London County Court earlier this week 100% of the property that she owned in joint names with her cohabitee of 18 years, Norman Martin. As a consequence of his having remained married to his wife Maureen throughout the period of cohabitation, Mr Norman’s share in the property passed to his estranged wife upon his death in 2012. The three bedroom property in Dorset was owned as tenants in common by Ms Williams and Mr Martin, which meant that upon his death his share in the property automatically passed to his estranged wife rather than to Ms Williams.
On Tuesday 17th February, Ms Williams was adjudged to have established that she was entitled to make a claim against Mr Martin’s Estate and that the fair and reasonable result was that she should “retain an absolute interest” in the property where she and her former partner had lived as if they were husband and wife in a “loving and committed” relationship.
This very recent case law only reaffirms the need for the law relating to cohabitees to be updated to reflect the modern world and the relationships that are now so common. If you wish to discuss your rights regarding a relationship in which you cohabit with a partner or if you are looking to cohabit and you require advice in relation to the same and the possible preparation of a Cohabitation Agreement feel free to contact Rod Stephenson at either our offices in Hinckley or Lutterworth.