An unemployed law graduate who lived with her financé has won a legal fight that will leave her with half of a £1.7 million home, after their relationship ended in 2016.
Central London County Court awarded Shree Ladwa, 43, half of the home despite arguments from her former partner, Beverley Chapman, 46, that she had entirely funded both the home and their lavish lifestyle.
Vandana Chitroda, a partner in the family team at law firm Royds Withy King in London, said: “This case highlights the difficulties cohabiting couples face when a relationship falls apart, and the desperate need for reform of the law to better reflect the way many same-sex and heterosexual couples choose to live.
“The courts in this instance looked at the joint ownership of the property and the couple’s intention to get married – all indicating towards a planned long-term future. But that is not always the case and many cohabiting couples still walk away from a long relationship with very little or nothing at all.
“Until the government acts on the increasingly loud calls to create legislation to protect cohabitees’ legal rights, cohabiting couples should document their financial agreement and intentions in a cohabitation agreement. It is the only way to avoid protracted and expensive legal action should that relationship fall apart.”
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