Claim for share in ex-partner’s business fails due to lack of written evidence

Scales of JusticeA woman’s claim to a half-share of her ex-partner’s business failed due to a lack of supporting evidence. Gillian Turner claimed she was promised 50 per cent of her former partner Michael Durant’s property business. But a County Court Judge rejected her claim, holding that it was ‘hard to believe’ the alleged promise was not recorded in writing.

Miss Turner told the court she put her £200,000 life savings into buying the home she had shared with Mr Durant and asked him to invest the same amount. Instead, she claimed, they agreed that Mr Durant would use the money to grow his business, of which he would give her a half-share. Mr Durant said no such agreement was made.

Miss Turner must now bear the legal costs of the case, which are said to run into tens of thousands of pounds. If she had been able to produce a cohabitation agreement to substantiate her claim, the outcome of the case may have been different.

Family law solicitors in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Bexhill and Hastings

A cohabitation agreement (also called a living together agreement) can set out how a cohabiting couple’s assets should be divided if they separate. It can also set out child support and financial maintenance arrangements. To be legally enforceable, a cohabitation agreement must be deemed ‘fair’ in the eyes of the court and both parties should obtain independent legal advice on the agreement which can cover any aspect of the cohabitation including property rights, capital division and pension nominations.

For expert help with drawing up a cohabitation agreement, please contact one of our Family Law Services Partners:

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