Can I get my house deposit money back if my child splits with their partner?

The Bank of Mum and Dad is equivalent of a top ten mortgage lender, but what happens to the money if the relationship breaks down?

Breaking up is hard enough at the best of times; it’s heart-wrenching, sad and takes the fun out of life – if it wasn’t, most song-writers would be facing an abrupt change of career.

And then, of course, there’s money.

Who paid for what, how much one owes, how much is one partner entitled to, is there a marriage to consider… children even? Though there is really is no such thing as a common law husband or wife, people living together can, and often do, acquire certain rights over the property, even if they have not contributed directly to its purchase.

It’s agony for the couple themselves, but increasingly this is becoming more than just a heartache (or in some cases a relief) for parents as the Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMaD) has so often helped their youngsters to get on the property ladder by providing a deposit, or helping with legal and moving fees.

They did so out of love but now the practicality takes over and – how do they get the money back in the case of a break-up? And, was this awkward subject ever discussed when the help was given?

BoMad, as parents with adult offspring have become known, are now supplying more than £6.5bn a year to their kids. This is a statistic which makes them the equivalent of a top ten lender in their own right.

So, taking the emotion out of financing your child’s first home is becoming vital to protect or recover your money in case of a relationship break-down.

What can you do?

Obviously when looking to ‘loan’ or ‘gift’ your young one a substantial sum of money against a property, it is generally a good idea to seek the advice of a solicitor, i.e. get it written down.

Like all issues which involve the law, they are often complicated and each case has individual circumstances.

There are a number of options but all of them rely on parents taking precautions to protect “their” cash first. It may or may not be an outright gift? You may want the money back in due course to help another child? Some may want some interest too?

It is hard to talk about this stuff. But so much better to do it now rather than later.

Naturally, we have solutions like our unique Family Mortgage but the best way to save yourself pain is to avoid it in the first place.

Just ask a song-writer.

We’d really like to hear from you – all of your stories about what precautions you have taken to safeguard your money should they part company with their first loves and the romance turns to nightmare.

Dare we say, perhaps you have a cautionary tale to share when it did go horribly wrong?

Share your story with us. Your life experience may help others who are walking a similar path.

Written by Steve McDowell

The content of this blog is Steve McDowell’s personal opinion and comment, and views expressed here are his and unless specifically stated, are not those of Family Building Society. The content on this page is not intended to be advice in any circumstances.