Dividing up what you own
Contribution by Charlotte Cox | June 2014
From a legal point of view, different rules apply depending on if you’re a married couple or a couple living together (co-habiting). If you’re married, everything you own could be considered as part of the overall divorce process. Inherited money and property may be treated differently to property that you’ve bought or any money that you’ve earned.
Unmarried couples living together don’t have any claim to each other’s possessions, savings, pensions, investments or assets. But if you bought things together, you own them in the share that you paid for it. For example, if you bought a fridge together and each paid 50% of the total price, you own half of it.
You could start by listing an accurate breakdown of your income and outgoings. If you’re still living together, you’re probably still sharing some expenses – like rent or mortgage payments and utility bills. List savings, investments, property and other assets separately. This process is likely to need input form an independent financial adviser and/or legal expert.
Even if you can easily agree how to share things out, it’s a good idea to get an experienced solicitor to look over the proposed terms. If married or unmarried and you can’t agree, mediators or solicitors might help. If not, you might need to make application to the court and the court will decide on what it considers to be a fair split.