Separating - Who Gets The House?

22 June 2021

Separating?  Who gets to live in the house?

Are you going through a separation?  Unsure which party should stay in the house?

Deciding who stays in the house can be a challenging decision during separation.  Often, the house will be owned jointly.  When couples separate, there may be some disagreement about who will retain ownership, whether the property is sold, or whether the property is retained for the benefit of children.  Who has the right to live in the family home after separation is not an easy decision.  If a formal agreement can be made, this gives some certainty to couples.  However, this is not always possible. 

No agreement is made – who stays?

In typical situations, both tenants have equal right to occupy a property they own.  In order to exclude one person from the property, orders must be obtained through court.  This will usually be in the form of an occupation order, or for those people who are renting, the tenancy tribunal. 

The court can make orders pursuant to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 in relation to separation matters.  These orders can give rights to one person to occupy the home.  The court can make decisions about how this order is taken into effect and the details included in the order. 

Who pays the mortgage?

When the court make orders for occupation, they also consider issues such as mortgage repayments and how those are to occur. 

What about children?

If there are children of the relationship, the court will take them and their accommodation needs into consideration.  They will look at what is right for the children as well as the adults involved.  This could include welfare issues or schooling concerns.  The court will consider each case on its own circumstances. 

If you are struggling with separation, our friendly team are happy to assist you.  We have experienced lawyers who are happy to help you navigate through the legal process.  Click below to contact one of our team now.

Back to Articles