So, in answer to C’s question, I can make the following points:
- Since it is your house, your new partner’s ex cannot make any claim against your property. Full stop.
- I presume that your reference to your new partner’s ex-wife means that he has obtained a divorce and a financial settlement. If he has NOT finalised his divorce and financial settlement, and you move in together, he must disclose that fact to his solicitors. If he does not have solicitors, then he must disclose that fact to his wife or her solicitors. This is called the duty of disclosure.
- If the divorce and financial settlement have not been sorted out yet, and you move in together then his ex’s solicitors may say that you represent a resource to your partner. The fact that you are housing him means that he may not need as much of the equity in his matrimonial home as his ex-wife. If your partner has children from his marriage and they are predominantly going to live with his ex-wife then she may say their housing needs should be added to her own housing needs so she should have more of the equity. And anyway, her lawyers may say, since you are helping your partner to address his housing needs, the ex-wife can how have more of the equity since he does not have as great a need.
- If the divorce and financial settlement have not been sorted, and the ex-wife wants spousal maintenance then she will say the fact that you are living together means that you are sharing your living expenses so perhaps this frees up a bit more income for spousal maintenance. But she cannot claim against your monthly income. That is your money – not your partner’s nor his ex-wife’s.
- But, if the divorce and financial settlement have been sorted then the impact of you living together is more limited. There should be a final court order dealing with the matrimonial finances. The key thing is whether the ex-wife has an order for spousal maintenance. If she does, then she may argue that moving in with you means that your partner is sharing his living costs with you so he can afford to pay his ex a bit more. The ex-wife may therefore make an application to vary her spousal maintenance upwards.
- And C should remember to consider protecting her own position in relation to her new partner if she lets him move in. What about a cohabitation agreement between you to sort out who pays what over the course of time?