Matrimonial home rights in family law
A: In Ontario, married spouses have special rights when it comes to their matrimonial home, which is defined as the home that you and your married spouse lived in as your family residence at the time that you separated. In particular, married spouses have an equal right to the possession of a matrimonial home.
Therefore, if you are married, you have an equal right to remain in the home even after you separate, regardless of the fact that your spouse is the sole party on title. This also applies to spouses who rent a matrimonial home. Both spouses have an equal right to remain in the matrimonial home even if the lease is only in one spouse’s name. Because both spouses have the same right to remain in the matrimonial home, one spouse cannot require the other spouse to move out or change the locks on the home, unless the parties have agreed or they have a court order to do so.
Please note that this does not apply to property shared by common law couples.
If you are considering moving out of the matrimonial home, it is recommended that you always seek legal advice before doing so, unless you fear for your safety or the safety of your children.