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Housing rights of joint home owners who are married or in a civil partnership

This content applies to England & Wales

Situation of married couples and civil partners who are joint owners whose relationship has broken down, and rights to occupy the matrimonial home under matrimonial, family and property law.

In virtually all cases, property law applies equally to married and cohabiting couples (heterosexual, lesbian and gay). It is not, therefore, covered in detail in this section, because most divorcing couples will use matrimonial/family law. Where appropriate, references are made to the other parts of the Relationship breakdown section for more detailed information on property law.

Relationship breakdown law

Overview of the legislation covering relationship breakdown issues. 

What is joint ownership?

An explanation of what is joint ownership. 

Occupation rights

Rights to occupy the home of joint owners who are married or in a civil partnership. 

Family Law Act orders

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

Preventing sale or disposal

How a joint-owning spouse or civil partner may be able to prevent sale or disposal of the home by the other joint partner. 

Staying in the home in the short term

How a joint owner who has not consented to a sale by the other joint owner may be able to get the transaction set aside. 

Long term occupation options for spouse and civil partner home owners

Solutions to decide who stays in the home in the long term 

Mortgage, loan and maintenance payments

This section identifies other financial issues that may arise on the breakdown of a relationship. 

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