Relationship breakdown

What rights do you have to stay in your home if you split up with your partner? This section provides information about welfare benefits and the rights of couples with dependent children.

If you are separated from your partner, you may also be able to claim child maintenance. 

exclamation If you are at risk of domestic abuse it is important to get advice as soon as possible. Use our directory to find a local adviser, or call our free housing advice helpline. If you are unsafe you should leave the property.

Counselling and mediation

Counselling and mediation may help if you're at risk of losing your home because of a breakdown in your relationship with your partner or family.

Short-term issues after relationship breakdown

When splitting up with your partner, you'll have to make decisions about where you will live. What are your options after relationship breakdown?

Leaving the home

If you're thinking about leaving your home, it's important to work out your housing options. You should also think about protecting any interest you might have in the home, in case you ever want to return.

Rights to return to the home

If you want to stay in or return to the home, you should think about protecting any interests you might have in it. What you can do depends on what rights you have to the home.

Occupation orders

You could ask a court to make an occupation order if you want to exclude your ex-partner from the home or the right to return there.

Matrimonial Home Rights

What rights do you have to live in a home that's owned or rented only in the name of your husband, wife or civil partner?

Married couples and civil partners

Options if you're married or in a civil partnership and trying to sort out your long-term rights to a home bought by one or both of you.

Cohabiting couples and home ownership

You don't have an automatic right to the home your partner owns if you are living together, but you may have a beneficial interest.

Beneficial interest

Claiming a beneficial interest is a way of getting the court to recognise your financial contributions (or otherwise) towards the home.

Going to court

It may be possible to avoid court action if you're a homeowner and have split up with your partner. See what the alternatives are and what a court can do.

Preventing a partner from selling

If you split up with your partner, you may need to take steps to make sure they cannot sell the home without your agreement.

Court orders for co-owners

Courts have wide powers and can make decisions about your home during divorce or the dissolving of a civil partnership. Find out what orders can be made.

Married couples and civil partners in rented accommodation

Following relationship breakdown, find out about your long-term rights if you are married or in a civil partnership and sharing a rented home

Cohabiting couples in rented accommodation

This page explains your housing options after relationship breakdown if you are cohabiting, but not married or in a civil partnership

Tenants and court action after relationship breakdown

A court may be able to help you sort out problems with your rented home after the breakdown of a relationship

Transferring tenancies

If your partner is the sole tenant, you may be able to have the tenancy transferred into just your name