Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Living Arrangements Following Separation: Can I Make My Spouse Leave the Matrimonial Home?

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Living Arrangements Following Separation: Can I Make My Spouse Leave the Matrimonial Home?

By:

Posted April 2, 2019

Married spouses are each entitled to possession of the matrimonial home, even if only one spouse is the owner.  Following a separation, living in the same house can be difficult and stressful.  So, what can you do?  Can you require your spouse to leave the house?  The short answer is no, at least not without a court order.  If living in the same house has become untenable, you and your spouse either need to agree as to who will remain in the house or you will need to get an order from the court for exclusive possession of the matrimonial home.

When will a court grant exclusive possession of the home to one spouse over the other?

Section 24 of the Family Law Act deals with orders for exclusive possession.  The section provides the criteria for the court to consider in making an order for exclusive possession.  Among the factors the court will consider are the best interests of the children involved, including their wishes and the effects on them of a move, the financial position of both spouses, the availability of other suitable and affordable accommodations and any violence committed by a spouse against the other spouse or children.

It will not be sufficient to claim that it is simply uncomfortable to continue living in the same household.

Who pays the costs for the home?

If you obtain an order for exclusive possession, the court has the authority to order that you make periodic payments to the other spouse, which is referred to as “occupation rent.”  Some of the factors the court will consider in determining whether to make an order for “occupation rent” include, among others, the conduct of the non-occupying spouse, including the failure to pay support, the conduct of the occupying spouse, timing of the claim, expenses being paid by the occupying spouse, whether the children reside with the occupying spouse.  You may also be required to pay for expenses related to the matrimonial home.

What happens if you breach an order for exclusive possession?

If an order for exclusive possession has been made allowing your spouse to occupy the home and you contravene the order, you may be arrested, without a warrant, and if convicted, be ordered to pay fines.

If you are separated and want to know more about orders for exclusive possession of a matrimonial home, please contact one of our family law lawyers who can provide you with advice as to your specific circumstances.

This blog post was written by Kate Wright, a member of the Family Law, Wills and Estates and Litigation teams.  She can be reached at 613-369-0383 or at kate.wright@mannlawyers.com.

More Resources

Blog |
Business Law

By: 

Posted October 20, 2021

On October 19, 2021, the new Ontario Business Registry System launched. This new online registry now enables businesses and not-for-profit corporations to directly access services[...]
Blog |
Environmental Law

By: 

Posted October 14, 2021

In the decision of Greenpeace Canada (2471256 Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks), 2021 ONSC 4521, released September 3, 2021,[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

By: 

Posted October 1, 2021

This blog continues our exploration of the potential employment law consequences stemming from the degree of control a party exerts within a variety of business[...]
Blog |
Personal Injury

By: 

Posted September 27, 2021

Personal Injury lawyers and their clients are all too familiar with the carnage and suffering caused by impaired drivers.  Canada has the worst rate of[...]
Blog |
Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Business Law

By: 

Posted September 24, 2021

As is noted by the Court of Appeal in McEwen (Re), released August 12, 2021, referred to here as “Traders”, the BIA is a complete[...]
Blog |
Wills, Trusts and Estates

By: 

Posted September 23, 2021

In-Trust For Accounts have become a common way for parents and grandparents to set aside money to finance their children or grandchildren’s post-secondary education. A[...]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Name*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.