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My ex wants me to move out of the house. Do I have to leave?

A photo of Nicola Starbuck
6th December 2022

When a couple decides to separate, it is not unusual for one of them to decide to leave the property that they share. Depending on circumstances, this may be the best arrangement for you and your family. However, it can lead to difficulties and it is important to take legal advice before you leave your home.

If it is safe and appropriate to do so, some couples decide to continue living together until financial matters have been properly considered. Problems arise where both parties want to stay in the property but one would like the other to leave. Unfortunately, this type of dispute may not be easy to resolve.

If your partner asks you to leave, it is important to consider the following:-

  1. Are you married or living together?
  2. Do you own the property jointly with your ex-partner or does it belong only to them?
  3. Is the property rented and, if so, are you named on the tenancy?

Jointly owned property/joint tenancy agreement

You are both entitled to live there. It does not matter whether you are married or living together. You will both need to decide what happens to the property. This will be done as part of your divorce and financial settlement (where you are married) or in accordance with your separation arrangements (where you are living together).

Property owned/rented solely by one party

If the property is owned or rented by your ex-partner and you are married, you will have ‘home rights’. ‘Home rights’ will give you a right to live in (‘occupy’) the property until you have agreed the long-term arrangements.

If you are not married, you may not have a right to stay in your partner’s property.

If there has been domestic abuse within the relationship, the court may make an order that the perpetrator leave the property even if they are entitled to live there.

My ex wants me to move out of the house. Do I have to leave? You do not need to leave your home just because your ex-partner asks you to. There are many things to consider. For further advice and support, please contact our friendly Family Team.