Who gets to stay in the house during separation in the UK?

You may both still be able to remain in your home during a separation, whether you rent or own it, regardless of whether it is in one or both of your names. 

The right to stay in the house during separation in the UK depends on the type of ownership and the status of the couple. For example, your right to live in the house will be different if you and your spouse or civil partner jointly own it.

In the UK, married couples or civil partners have legal home rights until a financial settlement is made or until the court enforces permanent financial remedies. 

Home rights give a spouse or civil partner the privilege to continue living in a matrimonial house during a divorce or separation, even if that spouse does not own it or is not named in the tenancy agreement. You can prevent your partner from selling your home by registering your home rights with the Land Registry.

Joint home ownership

Where a married couple or civil partners own or rent a house in both their names, both parties have equal rights to live there during a separation. In this case, financial arrangements following the separation could include one spouse buying the other’s share or selling the house and splitting the proceeds equally.

If the house is rented in the name of both parties, one party could request that the name of the other be removed from the rental agreement. This could be done by preparing a Notice to Quit, for the landlord or by applying to the court for the removal of their name.

Sole home ownership for married couples or civil partners

Where one spouse or civil partner is the sole owner of the home, both parties have the right to stay in the house during separation. 

The other party can register their home rights with the Land Registry to protect their interest in the home. This is a good idea if the other party contributed to the purchase of the home. Also, even if a party had made non-financial contributions to the home such as maintaining the home or caring for the children, they may be protected from having to leave the house during separation.

Unmarried couples

If you are not married or in a civil partnership and only your partner owns the home or is named on the tenancy, you might still have the right to stay in the home for a short term. If you have gained an interest in the house, such as through regular contributions to the mortgage or home improvements, you may have a right to remain in the house during a separation.

How can GloverPriest help?

At GloverPriest, we specialise in helping families and cohabiting partners. For friendly and transparent advice, speak to one of our expert family lawyers today. Complete our enquiry form.

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At GloverPriest, we understand navigating the law can be a difficult task to take on alone. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to help promote information for everyone to use.

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