Costs and Resolving Unmarried Finances

May 10, 2016

The law dealing with the finances of an unmarried relationship is very different from that for the finances of a marriage, and can include considering complex trust issues under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA). These issues are usually handled by family lawyers for whom most work the Family Procedure Rules apply. However, TOLATA is covered by the Civil Procedure Rules. At the end of such cases, there is a risk that one party can be ordered to pay the other’s costs, compared to the presumption in most family law cases that each party pays their own costs.

A recent example was the case in the Central London County Court of Chloe Thomas and Gareth Powell. They were in an unmarried relationship and lived in a property which she bought. He borrowed £14,000 on materials and renovated the property. The court decided that he should receive £50,000, and because she had turned down an offer of less than the court ordered, she was also ordered to pay £150,000 of legal costs.

At Nockolds, our solicitor and mediator Zen Thompson is an accredited civil and family mediator, as well as an experienced family solicitor, and so is able to bring to the mediation his wealth of experience in dealing with such cases both in mediation and at court. We can offer not only traditional family mediation, but also a specially tailored one day civil mediation for such issues.  

This mediation differs from traditional family mediation in the following ways: 

  • Mediation takes place on just one day, rather than a series of meetings
  • Most of the mediation takes places with the parties in separate rooms, rather than face to face
  • Proposals can be discussed with the mediator without being shared with the other, and then only shared if authority is given, which can encourage productive negotiation with properly thought out proposals 
  • There is more lawyer support: preparing for the mediation, attending and advising during the mediation, and drafting the outcome
  • The costs are fixed
  • There is a binding outcome

If you would like assistance in dealing with the resolution of unmarried finances, from either a solicitor or mediator, please contact Zen Thompson by email, or call 01279 755777.

Full news article can be found here

Zen Thompson

About the author

Zen Thompson

Zen joined Nockolds in 2015 and is a Senior Associate Solicitor and Mediator in our Family Team. Zen has specialised in family cases in Hertfordshire ...

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