Spotlight
Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
Family Law Awards adds a Wellbeing Award - enter now
This past year has been different for everyone, but family law professionals working on the front line of family justice have faced a more challenging, stressful and demanding time than most. To...
Perspectives on civil partnerships and marriages in England and Wales: aspects, attitudes and assessments
IntroductionThis article considers the developments since the turn of the century in the provision of new options for same sex and opposite sex couples to formalise their unions with full legal...
Family Law journal - take the survey and you could win £50 worth of vouchers
Do you subscribe to Family Law journal?Our aim is to provide all subscribers of Family Law with compelling, insightful and helpful content that you enjoy reading and find useful in your...
Commencement date of 6 April 2022 announced for the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020
The Ministry of Justice has announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020), which received Royal Assent on 25 June 2020, will now have a commencement date of 6 April 2022....
HMCTS blog highlights the use of video hearing due to COVID-19
HM Courts & Tribunals Service has published a blog detailing the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on hearings. Pre-pandemic, HMCTS states that the use of video technology for live participation...
View all articles
Authors

PROPERTY: Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53

Sep 29, 2018, 19:10 PM
Property — Constructive trust — Property in joint names of unmarried couple — After separation woman remained in occupation with children — Man made no contributions to mortgage or children's upbringing — Whether court entitled to vary equal beneficial interests to reflect post-separation behaviour — Whether the intention to vary the beneficial interests could be inferred or imputed
This case concerns the correct approach to calculating beneficial interests in property where the legal title to the property is held in joint names by an unmarried couple but there is no express statement of how it is to be shared.
Slug : 2011UKSC53
Meta Title : Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Nov 9, 2011, 07:05 AM
Article ID : 97221

[The judicially approved judgment and accompanying headnote for Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53, [2012] 1 FLR 45 has now published in Family Law Reports]

(Supreme Court; Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Collins, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson; 9 November 2011)

This case concerns the correct approach to calculating beneficial interests in property where the legal title to the property is held in joint names by an unmarried couple but there is no express statement of how it is to be shared.

The unmarried couple purchased a property in joint names. The woman supplied a deposit; the balance was funded by an interest only mortgage. The couple had two children together. An extension to the property was paid for largely by the man. During the relationship the household bills, including the mortgage payments, were shared. After almost 10 years in the property the relationship broke down. The man moved out, after which all payments were met by the woman, who maintained the property and supported the children with very little contribution from the man. The parties did cash in a life insurance policy, dividing the proceeds, in part to enable the man to buy a property in his sole name. Subsequently, when both properties had increased in value, the man served a notice of severance in respect of the property in joint names. The woman responded by bringing a claim under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 in respect of both properties. At first instance the court held that the woman was entitled to 90% of the value of the first property, on the basis that this was fair and just. The Court of Appeal allowed the man's appeal.

The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the woman's appeal and restored  the order of the county court. The principle recognised in Stack v Dowden is that where people purchase a family home in their joint names the presumption is that they intend to own the property jointly in equity also. The starting point is different in cases where the property is bought in the name of one party only. The presumption of joint beneficial ownership arises because (i) purchasing property in joint names indicates an "emotional and economic commitment to a joint enterprise" and (ii) the practical difficulty of analysing respective contributions to the property over long periods of cohabitation.

The Court held that the presumption may be rebutted by evidence that it was not, or ceased to be, the common intention of the parties to hold the property jointly.  The court should try to ascertain the parties' actual intentions, expressed or inferred but if it is clear that the beneficial interests are shared but impossible to infer a common intention as to the proportions in which they are shared, the court will have to impute an intention to them which they may never have had .

The judgement applied the following principles: (i) the starting point where a family home is bought in joint names is that they own the property as joint tenants in law and equity; (ii) that presumption can be displaced by evidence that their common intention was, in fact, different, either when the property was purchased or later; (iii) common intention is to be objectively deduced (inferred) from the conduct and dealings between the parties; (iv) where it is clear that they had a different intention at the outset or had changed their original intention, but it is not possible to infer an actual intention as to their respective shares, then the court is entitled to impute an intention that each is entitled to the share which the court considers fair having regard to the whole course of dealing between them in relation to the property; and (v) 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.


Categories :
  • Archive
  • Judgments
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Load more comments
Comment by from