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November 9, 2011

Bid by former boyfriend for half the value of ex’s home dismissed by Supreme Court

A man who left his partner nearly 20 years ago is not entitled to half the value of the house they shared, the highest court in the land ruled today.

Five Supreme Court justices allowed an appeal by hairdresser Patricia Jones, 56, against an earlier ruling that ice-cream salesman Leonard Kernott, 51, was entitled to 50 per cent.

They announced that he was entitled to just 10 per cent of the £240,000 home he once shared with Ms Jones, cutting the amount from £120,000 to £24,000. The couple paid £30,000 for the property in Thundersley, Essex, in 1985 and lived their for eight years before separating.

Lawyers said today’s decision could alter the legal landscape for unmarried couples arguing over property after separating.

The ruling, which followed a hearing in London, was the conclusion of a three-year legal battle, which had seen lawyers argue in a county court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Marilyn Stowe, senior partner at Stowe Family Law, added: ‘The fact that four courts have gone through the tortuous process of analysing this case just goes to show why specific legislation for cohabiting couples is required – despite the Government’s recent refusal to introduce it. Improved legal rights could avoid any more cases such as Kernott v Jones.’

Mrs Stowe said the ruling was a ‘landmark decision’ which could affect ‘hundreds of thousands of families’.

Full story on Mail Online

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