Earlier this week mother of three Kirsty Cahill was awarded the profits from her ex-partners property who refused to marry her ‘in case someone better came along”.

Ms Cahill, 33 met her ex-partner Stephen Farrer while still at school and spent much of her adult life financially dependent on him.

‘If something happened to Stephen, for example death or becoming very ill, or if he decided to leave me, or I decided I would like to leave him, I would be left in a very financially precarious situation,’ she told the Judge.

Ms Cahill spent much of her time looking after their children whilst her partner at the time, Stephen, was the breadwinner.

Mr Farrer bought a four bedroomed house in 2007 which the Judge deemed to be an investment property. Ms Cahill said the house was put in her name to give her financial security but Mr Farrer insisted that he never agreed to give Ms Cahill the property, and that the house was put in her name simply to make it easier to get a mortgage.

Mr Farrer proposed to Kirsty on Christmas day which was shortly followed by him whispering in her ear ‘don’t think I am going to marry you because I am not’.

The Judge said:

“That sort of public humiliation – raising false expectations only to be diminished at a time not two months after the birth of their third child – gives an insight into the nature of the relationship between these two people, separated by 20 years.’
During discussions between the couple Mr Farrer had told Kirsty “’I am not sure I want to marry you in case someone better comes along”.

‘In my judgment it is clear that the property is absolutely owned by Ms Cahill and Mr Farrer has no beneficial or other interest in that property,’ the Judge concluded.

The Judge’s ruling means Ms Cahill will receive the entire net proceeds from the sale, around £296,000.

It is essential to take legal advice on separation to ensure you achieve a fair outcome. In this case the Judge clearly took the view that Mr Farrer’s clear intent at the time of purchase was to give Mis Cahill the property. Despite changing his mind on separation the Judge would not allow that to happen. The law on cohabiting couples is complex – no rights are acquired by cohabiting regardless of duration. On the ending of a relationship people are often surprised to find they have no claim on the other person’s assets. In some circumstances a person can acquire rights by virtue of contribution or intention, and it is helpful to take advice from a lawyer who is an expert in this field of Family Law.

If you have a family matter and need advice please don’t hesitate to contact our specialist Family Law team on 0845 287 0939, or alternatively please complete our online contact form.