In this article, we’ll discuss the matrimonial home rights notice in detail and explain when and why you may want to utilise it.
Matrimonial home rights mean that both parties in a marriage have the legal right to live in the family (marital) home. A couple acquire these rights automatically when they get married.
It makes no difference which party’s name the property is in; both parties have a right to live in it.
These rights were brought about in order to ensure that one spouse could not be evicted from the family home by the other.
As well as owned homes, matrimonial home rights also apply to rental properties.
Although the rights are acquired automatically, third parties, such as potential buyers of the property, may not be aware of them. The Title Deeds of the matrimonial home do not automatically inform third parties that there is a spouse who has a legal right to be in the property.
This means that if the spouse who owns the matrimonial home decides to sell it without telling the other spouse, the spouse who does not own the property could end up with nowhere to live. This is where the matrimonial home rights notice comes in.
The spouse who does not own the property can protect their position by utilising a matrimonial home rights notice.
If an application for a matrimonial home rights notice is successful, a matrimonial home rights notice will be added to the Title Deeds of the property, so that any third parties can see that a spouse who does not own the home, has the right to occupy it.
The application for a matrimonial home rights notice should be sent to the Land Registry.
Your solicitor should be able to help you complete the form.
Matrimonial home rights, and in turn the matrimonial home rights notice, only apply to the matrimonial home (the house where the couple live/have lived together).
A matrimonial home rights notice can be removed in certain circumstances, such as the death of either spouse or the decree absolute being pronounced. It may also be removed if the matrimonial home rights notice has been improperly registered.
In addition to the circumstances mentioned above, if you own a property with a matrimonial home rights notice on it, you can remove it if your spouse consents.
A court also has the power to grant a court order to remove the matrimonial home rights notice from a property.
If you want to have a matrimonial home rights notice removed, it’s highly recommended that you seek advice from a solicitor experienced in this area of law, such as Austin Kemp.
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