One of the more difficult choices to make when separating is deciding who will get to live in the matrimonial home, or who will get the exclusive possession of the matrimonial home. Both parties have likely developed an attachment to the home, and uprooting your life to move somewhere else can be a daunting and stressful experience.
The court typically considers both spouses to be equally entitled to shares of their matrimonial home. The home itself brings with it a different decision-making process.
What does exclusive possession of the matrimonial home mean?
An exclusive possession order allows you to live in the matrimonial home to the exclusion of your spouse. A spouse will sometimes apply for an Order for exclusive possession when there are safety concerns, or there is a great deal of conflict or tension in the home.
The “matrimonial home” is defined as belonging to both spouses, regardless of whose name appears on the title or if it came into the marriage as one spouse’s sole party. If the home was occupied by both at the time of separation, then the court considers both spouses to have an equal claim to exclusive possession. Should the title bear only one spouse’s name, entitling him/her to keep the home, the other spouse is still entitled to a payment of 50% of its value on the date that they separate.
Note that this applies only to legally married spouses. However, it applies the same to other residences – cottages, timeshares, houseboats, etc. – that might be used regularly by the family. As long as one spouse has at least a percentage interest in a property, that spouse has a claim at least on a portion of its value. A name on the title isn’t necessarily required for the court to see an equal claim to exclusive possession.
The test comes when the court examines a couple’s total circumstances, including the well-being of children. Mandeep S. Saggi and his experienced team of lawyers from the Saggi Law Firm can advocate for your right to exclusive matrimonial home possession through thoroughly constructed arguments that your contributions to the marriage have earned it. Mandeep and his team have the insight from over 35 years’ experience to recognize which circumstances, when highlighted, will most likely result in a judge naming you the deserving exclusive owner of the property.
Where the shares are considered equal, tipping the scales requires sound strategy. Contact Mandeep S. Saggi today for a no-cost, no obligation consultation to demonstrate how he can help you keep your home.