(Chancery Division; Warren J; 25 June 2009)
The man and woman were in a relationship. After a time the man purchased the property in which the woman was then living with her children. Subsequently the woman moved out of this property, and went to live with the man. The original property was sold and a new property was purchased; the woman and the man cohabited in this new property. Although the man tried to get the woman to sign a 'living together agreement', acknowledging that she had not brought any assets into the relationship, the woman refused to sign any such agreement. When the relationship eventually broke down, the woman asserted a beneficial interest in the property. The question for the court was whether the purchase of the original property meant that the woman was beneficially entitled to the proceeds of sale.
There was a very high burden of proof in such cases, and the evidence relied on by the woman did not establish that she had acquired a beneficial interest in either the original or the new property.