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Ex-partner ‘entitled to 10% of house value’

Ex-partner ‘entitled to 10% of house value’

The Supreme Court has ruled that a man who left his partner nearly 20 years ago is only entitled to 10% of the value of the house they shared.

The decision to allow an appeal by Patricia Jones against a ruling that Leonard Kernott was entitled to 50% could change the legal landscape for unmarried couples arguing over property after separating, said lawyers.

At the hearing in London Lord Kerr said the 90%/10% division originally imposed by a county court was fair.

Mr Kernott, 51, and Ms Jones, 56, separated in 1993, the Supreme Court heard in May. They had shared a house in Thundersley, Essex, for eight years.

Five judges heard that the couple bought their house in joint names with a joint mortgage in 1985. It carried a value of £240,000 by 2008.

Mr Kernott moved out of the house in Badger Hall Avenue with Ms Jones, a hairdresser, continuing to pay the mortgage, maintain the house and bring up their two children.

But the Court of Appeal ruled in 2010 that Mr Kernott was still entitled to half its value. The court said the couple owned equal shares at the time of separation and neither party moved to change the situation.

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