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ToLATA

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  • The unmarried couple had been in a relationship from 1995 until 2017. They had two children, aged 14 and 19, and had bought a four-bedroom home in Oxfordshire. Both parties were still residing in the property, although the mother was mostly restricted to a bedroom with an en suite bathroom. She had applied for a declaration under section 14 of ToLATA for declaration of the parties’ respective beneficial entitlement, and an order for sale. The father had made an application under Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act 1989 for the applicant’s share of the property to be held on trust for the benefit of the parties’ son until such time as he finished education. One working day before the final hearing, the father conceded that the declaration of beneficial interest should be of 50% shares in the property, leaving the issue of whether the property should be sold, and if so, when. The mother argued for a sale as soon as possible, while the father wished it to be deferred for seven or eight years. HHJ Vincent's impression was that the father did not have a good grasp of the financial implications of the situation and did not like the thought of change, and so had not let himself think about the practical consequences of having to leave the home. HHJ Vincent was also concerned that the younger child's welfare needs were not being met by the current situation. The property would be put on the open market and sold for the best price that could be obtained, although the parties could also consider whether one party might be able to buy out the other’s share. As to costs, the usual order in family cases would be no order as to costs, but this was an application made under Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act 1989, and so the unsuccessful party would pay the costs of the successful party. Judgment, 22/06/2020, free
  • The unmarried couple had separated and the female partner had moved out of the family home. Their two children were now adults. She sought a sale of the property under TOLATA 1996 on the basis that it had had been purchased for the purpose of providing a family home and that purpose had come to an end. An order was made for the male partner to give up vacant possession of the property, and he was forbidden from interfering with the sale. He was then committed to prison for breaches of those injunctive orders, and now appealed against that sentence. Baker LJ found that none of the grounds or arguments advanced established that the judge had been wrong either in any of her findings or in the sentence passed. The male partner did not accept the validity of the order made in the TOLATA proceedings and believed that he was entitled to disregard it. He would have continued to defy the order if allowed his liberty. Bean LJ agreed, and the appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 24/04/2020, free
  • Husband's appeal against the refusal of a stay of the wife's applications under ToLATA in respect of the parties' former matrimonial home, and under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 for a school fees order and child maintenance, was dismissed. Judgment, 13/11/2018, free
  • In brief: An unsuccessful attempt by the wife (“W”) to establish a 50% interest in a property solely owned by the husband (“H”) which was subject to an order for sale in proceedings instigated by H’s creditor. The court was unconvinced by the evidence presented including a declaration of trust allegedly signed in 2003 which the judge found “bore the hallmarks” of having been created much more recently Judgment, 26/10/2018, free
  • In a tweet: Court has power to order sale of property to one beneficiary Judgment, 06/08/2018, free

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