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Property rights on separation – where do unmarried couples stand?
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The case of Dobson v Griffey
 EWHC 1117 (Ch) is a stark reminder of the limited legal rights that apply to cohabiting couples and the unequal treatment in law resulting from their non-marital status. In this article we take a detailed look at the facts of this case and reflect on the practical implications of the judgment.
BackgroundThe parties who were both divorcees began their relationship in October 2004. The claimant Ms Dobson asserted that in September 2005 there had been an express agreement that the type of property the defendant Mr Griffey would purchase would require renovation which Ms Dobson would do or oversee. Further Ms Dobson said that there was an agreement to split the profit or increase in value equally upon its sale. Mr Dobson denied that both the conversation and the alleged agreement ever took place.It is worth noting as well that at the time of the apparent express agreement Ms Dobson still lived in a property owned by her parents and Mr Griffey owned a property in which he was living and which was not on the...
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