Can I make my partner move out the family home?

Barker Son & Isherwood LLP


Phone 01264 353411


When a relationship breaks down, the parties’ living arrangements must be addressed fairly quickly.

In the vast majority of cases, neither will want to continue living with the other. Equally, each might want to stay in the family home. We frequently hear from clients that they don’t see why they should be the one to move out when their partner caused the break-up. Some have nowhere else to go. Others worry that they have no right to stay because their partner is the one who owns the property.

Where two people are married or in a civil partnership, both usually have the right to remain in the family home. The same applies where the home is owned in joint names. In either of those situations, it will be for you and your ex to agree the future arrangements – which might involve one of you buying the other’s interest in the property, or selling up and splitting the proceeds of sale.

If you are the sole owner of the property, you do not have the automatic right to force your spouse or civil partner to move out. They will usually have ‘home rights’, entitling them to stay in the family home until the divorce or dissolution has been finalised and a settlement reached.

There are situations in which one party poses a risk to the other, and action needs to be taken to remove them from, and keep them out of, the property. If you find yourself in danger, or you feel in any way threatened or intimidated by your ex-partner, it is important that you seek help straightaway. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that you and any children living with you are protected. You may be able to apply to the court for an Occupation Order which would give you the right to live in the property for a certain amount of time.

To find out how we could help with your particular situation, please contact a memeber of our family department at or call for an appointment on 01264 353411.

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