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

This content applies to England & Wales

Situation of married couples and civil partners whose relationship has broken down, where one of the spouses or civil partners owns the property and the other does not. Information about rights to occupy the 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 sections in the relationship breakdown section for more detailed information on property law.

Relationship breakdown law

Legislation covering relationship breakdown issues for sole owners and their civil partners or spouses 

What is sole ownership?

A definition of sole ownership. 

Occupation rights

Rights to occupy the home of people who are married or in a civil partnership and the property is in one name. 

Occupation orders under the Family Law Act 1996

Occupation orders for a sole owner and their spouse or civil partner that can be granted under the Family Law Act 1996 

Preventing sale or disposal by registration

How a spouse or civil partner who doesn't own their home may be able to prevent the home's sale or disposal 

Injunctions to prevent sale or disposal

Information about court orders other than those available under the Family Law Act. 

Staying in the home in the short term

Limited circumstances in which it may be possible for a non-owning spouse or civil partner to stay in the matrimonial home after a sale or disposal by the sole owner. 

Long term occupation options for spouses and civil partners who don't own the home

Solutions to decide who stays in the home in the long term that do not involve the courts, and orders the court can make 

Mortgage and maintenance payments

Other financial issues that may arise on the breakdown of a relationship. 

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