1. Think about whether you can live in the home together

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Family Law - Property and debts ‑ married couples
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)

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We're married. Who gets to stay in our home if we separate or divorce?
This question has an answer and 3 steps

1. Think about whether you can live in the home together

Since both married partners have an equal right to live in the matrimonial home after they separate, you can be legally separated but still live in the same home.

You can "live separate and apart under the same roof". This means you both live in the same home but you don't do things together any more, such as sleep, go out, cook, or eat together. You might continue to live in the same home because it is easier to care for your children together or because it is too expensive to move out.

Whether you and your partner can live separate and apart in the home, even on a temporary basis, often depends on:

  • how tense things are between you and your partner
  • whether someone can afford to move out or has somewhere else to go
  • safety concerns, including if there has been a history of domestic abuse

You should also think about what you want to happen with the home after you and your partner have resolved all of your other issues.

Sometimes neither partner wants to keep the home, or both partners agree that they can't afford the home anymore. Other times, both partners want to live in the home and want the other partner to move out.

Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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