Partner wins court fight over share of house

The Central London County Court has ruled in favour of a 69-year-old woman who faced relinquishing part-ownership of the house she shared with her late partner.

When Norman Martin died of a heart attack in June 2012, the property did not automatically pass to Joy Williams – his partner and co-habitant of 18 years – as the pair were unmarried.  Instead, half of the home was awarded to Mr Martin’s estranged wife, Maureen.

But upholding Ms Williams’ claim in court on Tuesday, Judge Nigel Gerald came to the “fair and reasonable” result that she should retain “an absolute interest” in the Dorset property she bought together with Mr Martin in 2009.

Despite living in the £320,000 three-bedroom home as tenants in common, Ms Williams and Mr Martin chose to remain as partners.

But Judge Gerald noted that they had lived as husband and wife in a “loving and committed” relationship, which entitled Ms Williams to security for the future.

The mother-of-two expressed her “relief and delight” after the decision.