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We are separating should I leave the family home?

By Theo Hoppen

Mar 12th, 2021

We have decided to separate - should I leave the family home?

We have separated – should I move out?

It can be very difficult to stay in the same house as your ex-partner or spouse once you have separated, especially when you have children. 

If it is possible, it is generally wise to stay in the family home.

  • Sometimes a spouse may move out into more modest accommodation and this can be used by the other spouse to claim that their ex’s housing needs are less than theirs.  When dividing assets on divorce, the court looks at each spouse’s housing needs to determine how much capital each spouse should receive.  If a spouse has moved into more modest accommodation, there is a risk the court could say that they require a smaller property than the marital home in the future.

  • Another reason to stay put is that by moving out, there can be less pressure on your ex to sort out matters.  The awkwardness and difficulty of living in the same house can often be a spur to reaching a swift financial settlement so you can both move on with your lives.  It is not uncommon to see that when the other spouse remains in the marital home matters drag out: they are in suitable accommodation and don’t feel the need to do anything to alter the statis quo.

What if the situation between you becomes intolerable?

There are ways of forcing your ex to move out of the house if the situation becomes intolerable.  The court can make an occupation order which forces one spouse to move out.  These are made when there is physical violence – or some form or emotional coercion and control – or when the children’s welfare is badly affected by both parents remaining in the same house.  I would consider these as a last resort and usually an agreement can be reached about interim occupation of the house.

It is important though to consider your options carefully and we at Langleys are well placed to provide expert advice on this issue.

If you or a family member want to have a confidential discussion concerning your situation, please contact us.

Our initial discussion is free, no matter how long it takes.

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