What is a matrimonial home?
A matrimonial home is any property in which one or both spouses has an interest and ordinarily occupies as their family residence at the date of separation.
Can I compel my spouse to leave so I can remain in the home?
No, you cannot. Both spouses have equal rights to remain in and occupy the matrimonial home regardless of whether the property is owned jointly or by one spouse solely. Upon separation, the legal owner cannot force the other spouse out of the home or change the locks.
There are however; exceptions to this rule. Spouses can always reach an agreement whereby one spouse remains in the home. Or, a spouse can seek to obtain a court Order for exclusive possession.
Can I sell the home without my spouse’s consent?
Since both parties have equal rights to remain in and occupy the home, neither spouse is permitted to sell the home without the other spouse’s consent. In the event the home must be sold and a spouse will not consent, you can take steps to obtain a court Order to have the home sold.