Occupation orders can also be used to gain the right to return to the family home, if, for example, your spouse has changed the locks and will not let you back in. These orders may also be utilised by someone to assert their right to stay in the house.
If necessary, occupation orders can also specify who is going to pay the mortgage and bills.
Not everyone who is going through a divorce will need to apply for an occupation order. This type of order is there to help protect people and is more often than not used when domestic violence has either been threatened or has happened.
It is important to note that occupation orders do not change who legally owns the property.
As occupation orders can make a great deal of difference to the lives of those specified in the orders, judges do not make them lightly.
Those who want to apply for an occupation order will have to meet certain requirements.
You will need to show some sort of connection to the property that you want included in the occupation order.
Note that you do not necessarily have to own the house. If you are married to the person who owns (or rents) the property and you are living in it, you may be able to apply for an occupation order.
Equally, if your ex-spouse is the owner or tenant, you may be able to apply for this type of order.
You will need to have/have had some sort of relationship with the respondent of the occupation order.
For example, you may be married to the respondent or you may be engaged to the respondent. Cohabitees may also be able to apply for an occupation order.
Courts can consider factors such as the housing needs of those involved in the order (and any children involved) and the behaviour of the applicant and the respondent.
The impact upon the health (both mental and physical) of those involved, can also be considered. For example, when making his/her decision about whether or not to grant an occupation order, a judge may consider the effect this would have on the mental health of those involved.
The financial resources of each party can also be taken into account.
In an emergency, it may be possible to apply to the court in as little as 24 hours.
Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to occupation orders, including:
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