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Resolving occupation disputes

This content applies to England & Wales

Different ways in which occupation disputes can be resolved.

In some cases, it may not be possible for the couple to live together, or one partner might refuse to allow the other to occupy the property. Family mediation can help the couple to reach an agreement about occupation disputes without going to court.

For more information see – Money and property when a relationship ends.

If the couple cannot agree what to do with the property, they will have to apply to the court to resolve the situation. In the short term, the court can make an occupation order under the Family Law Act 1996 setting out, for example, who can live at the property or ordering one of the cohabitants to leave.

Occupation orders under FLA 1996

Occupation orders that can be granted under the Family Law Act 1996. 

Eligibility to apply

Who is eligible to apply for an occupation order. 

Sole owner/non-owner with interest

Occupation orders that are available for sole owner cohabitants or non-owning cohabitants who have established a beneficial interest. 

Non-owning cohabitant

When a non-owning cohabitant or former cohabitant who does not have a beneficial interest may apply for an occupation order. 

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