In a landmark ruling, a businessman has been ordered to pay an ex-girlfriend £28,500, as he had led her to believe she would be “looked after for life”. David Southwell lost his appeal against a county court ruling after Catherine Blackburn had initially claimed half of the £320,000 house they shared during their 10 years together. The Court of Appeal ruling has the potential to open floodgates for claims from other separated couples, who had never married. James Brown of JMW Solicitors commented: “What is important about this ruling is not just that it might make it easier to succeed with this kind of claim in the future. It might act as something of a temptation for cohabitees who had possibly not considered legal redress once their relationships break down.”
The Principal of Eastbourne Law commented “This case shows how important it is for couples to contact us to make a proper cohabitation agreement, so that each party knows what the future holds financially. The relatively minor costs of drawing up a fair and personalised agreement over the financial aspects of living together will be dwarfed by the costs of even considering Court action if things go wrong.” She added “In this particular case, I suspect the cost of the case will have far exceeded the amount of compensation awarded. Unmarried couples in the Eastbourne area should certainly consider this aspect of their Legal Planning as well as the serious complications which arise when one of a couple dies or is seriously ill. Why not make an appointment with us to go through our 20 minute Free Legal Planning Review?”
If you would like to read the newspaper article, click the headline. But if you are living together, contacting Eastbourne Law can help you to lay firm foundations for your relationship, so things will remain ordered even if you should break up in the future.