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Caroline Falkus and Sharon Bennett: What to advise clients after Jones v Kernott

Date:10 NOV 2011

Caroline Falkus and SharonBennettThere will not be many family lawyers who have not welcomed the decision in Jones v Kernott. The decision is a victory of common sense and has shown once again the willingness of the judiciary to fill the lacuna caused by successive governments' failure to set up a legislative framework to deal with the breakdown of the relationship of cohabitees. It is also a further illustration of the fact that most cohabiting couples do not fully understand the legal implications of what they do when they buy and then separate. If Miss Jones had been to see her solicitor at the time of separation she would have been advised not to part with any money until the property was transferred to her. Problem over.

If this problem is to be addressed then it is the conveyancers who need to absorb the impact of this judgment. Courts have stressed for years the need for conveyancers to advise their clients to set out their intentions and...

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