If you are engaged to your fiancée and either have or are considering ending your engagement to them, then there are a number of factors that you will need to consider particularly if you have bought a property or other assets together, to ensure that you can have a clean break and protect your assets.
Disputes over property tend to arise when the relationship breaks down and the parties both lived in a property together and disagree on whether the property should be sold, or the proportion of the equity each of them should receive when the property is sold or ownership transferred.
Generally speaking, the rules that apply to cohabiting couples when their relationship ends will also apply to engaged couples.
However, if you bring a claim within 3 years of the end of your engagement then the law does offer some additional protection to you. The Court has the power in these circumstances to resolve any dispute over title to or possession of property (although it cannot adjust the interest in the property). If you have made a substantial contribution to the property then the Court can also determine whether you have a beneficial interest in it.
As soon as your engagement has come to an end you should seek advice as to how the property is held and, if you hold it as joint tenants, you should consider whether this should be severed so that you hold it as tenants in common.
Disputes over assets
It is quite common when the relationship breaks down to disagree about the assets that were purchased during the engagement.
If you bring a claim within 3 years of the end of your engagement then the Court has the power in these circumstances to resolve any dispute over title to or possession of the assets. The Court also has the power to direct how assets are divided between you.
We have a wealth of experience of advising in relation to this so please do not hesitate to contact us.
If your engagement has come to an end then you should consider whether you need to make a new Will, particularly if your existing Will provides for your ex-fiancée to inherit should you die.
We have a team of experts who can advise you in relation to this.