On Wednesday 9th November 2011, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Jones v Kernott. The Court upheld the County Court decision that the house was owned 90% by Ms Jones and 10% by Mr Kernott.
The couple met in 1981, and had two children together. They purchased a house in joint names in 1985. They separated 1993. Mr Kernott bought alternative property for himself in 1996. Ms Jones maintained the property and in the main, supported their children. Nothing was agreed about ownership of the house. Ms Jones issued proceedings in 2007 to obtain a declaration that although the house was in joint names she owned it all. The Supreme Court (the highest court in the country), disagreed.
• Each case will turn on its own facts.
• Financial contributions are relevant but there are many other factors which may enable the court to decide what shares were either intended or fair in the absence of a clear agreement between the parties.
For further advice or assistance, or to prepare an agreement between you and your partner recording who owns what to avoid costly litigation as a result of uncertainty, contact Michelle Grove on 01752 203500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.