You and the Law – 12th May 2009

Taking on responsibilities

My son is buying a house worth £170,000.

His partner, who has a son from her previous marriage, doesn’t work and is not paying anything towards the mortgage or bills.

I don’t want them to split up as I like the girl, but I wonder whether she would have any claim on the property if they were to separate, leaving my son with half the value of the house and a huge mortgage?KL

If the girl friend’s son becomes a ‘child of the family’ she could seek a home for it until it ceased to be dependent.

If they were to split up this is the likely outcome, but the property would revert to your son when the child reached 18 unless the girl friend was able to persuade a court to transfer it into her name.

Your son should buy the house in his own name rather than in joint names.

Your fears are justified, but it’s a common problem.

Make sure your son discusses the situation with his solicitor so that he enters into the relationship with his eyes open.


I’ve worked 25 hours a week for a firm for the last 18 months, and do a lot of overtime. Should I be paid time-and-a-half for this? From what I understand you have to work 37 hours before you get time-and-a-half. TC

It depends what they’ve been paying you for working overtime in the past, and what it says in your contract.

If they don’t pay enhanced rates at present, what you’ve been told is probably correct: under the Part-Time Workers’ Regulations you are entitled to the same hourly rate of pay as comparable full-time workers, and to the same hourly rate of overtime, but only once you have worked more than the normal full-time hours.

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