Should I stay in the house or leave after separation?
Do I lose any rights if I move out of the house?
Many clients are concerned with the implications of them moving out of the house in which they live with their husband wife or de facto partner.
Does it Matter?
This is often one of the first questions I am asked as a lawyer when I see a new client. While the circumstances can depend on whether the house will be kept or sold, or whether the house is in joint names or the sole name of one of the parties, ordinarily the short answer is not really.
Stay or Go?
The first thing that should be considered is if there are any safety concerns in remaining in the house. It is common for parties after having broken up to have higher levels of conflict and the safety of both parties should always be considered as a priority.
But can they sell it if I’m not there?
The greatest level of risk in terms of your ‘rights’ to the house is if the house is solely registered in the name of the other party. In those circumstances you should consider consulting a lawyer immediately with a view to securing an injunction to prevent that other person selling the property without your agreement. Once the house has been sold it could be difficult to recover those sale proceeds if wasted.
So whose house is it anyway?
The reason I say that you do not necessarily lose rights however is because whether you remain in the house or leave the house is immaterial to the factors considered by the court in determining your family law entitlement.
3 more things to consider
- There could be difficulties in selling the property if the other party lives alone in that property;
- who will pay the mortgage, or will you be able to seek contribution to the rent you would pay elsewhere?
- who will keep the furniture and is there an advantage to either of you in keeping the furniture as opposed to purchasing new furniture?
So what next?
There are no doubt a myriad of other matter which should also be considered with respect to your particular circumstances. As this is general advice only and not ‘legal advice’ you may benefit from discussing your situation with me directly. Call today to have a conversation free of charge.
The first 45 minutes of your initial family law consult is free.
The contents of this publication are not legal advice to anybody who receives it and should not be treated as legal advice. You should not take any action following reading this publication without legal advice concerning its application or relevance to your own circumstances.
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