In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘what are my rights if I leave the marital home’ and deal with some common issues divorcing couples face regarding marital home rights.
If you’re asking ‘what are my rights if I leave the marital home’, you probably already know that you want to move out.
There are various reasons why people choose to leave the family home. The arguing may be getting too much or it may just seem that it’s the next logical step in the divorce process.
The family home usually forms an important part of the divorce financial settlement. Sometimes, one party may buy the other out, or the home may be sold and the proceeds split. Alternatively, one party may remain living in the home, but may agree to sell it at a set point in the future (when the children become adults, for example). Negotiations surrounding the family home can be some of the most difficult and it may be that moving out is one way to ensure that both parties get the space they need to conduct more objective negotiations.
If the property is jointly owned, both parties are legally entitled to be in the home.
If the property is only in your spouse’s name, you may still have a right to stay in the home. In order to protect your interest in the marital home before your divorce and financial settlement are finalised, you can register your matrimonial home rights with the land registry.
Usually, the marital home rights will end when the financial settlement is finalised and the divorce concluded.
For more information on your rights to property following the breakdown of a relationship, take a look at our article: Your divorce: What are my rights to property after separation?
If you are concerned that your spouse may be attempting to sell the marital home, it is vital to act quickly and seek advice from a solicitor. Fast action is particularly important if the property is only in your spouse’s name.
Technically, yes. However, this course of action is rarely advisable. If one party temporarily leaves the marital home, they are legally still able to return and enter the property. Therefore, if one party changes the locks, the other could change them again. Changing the locks is likely to serve solely to create further animosity. If your spouse changes the locks, it’s highly advisable to seek legal advice before taking action.
As always, it is best to seek legal advice on your marital home rights and the implications of leaving, before vacating the property.
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