2. Learn about the matrimonial home
Question & AnswerHow do I legally separate from my partner?
The rules about who can stay in your home depend on whether you're or in a .
Your matrimonial home is the home where you and your married partner lived together before you separated. It can be a house, townhouse, apartment, or co-op unit. It can be owned or rented.
After you separate, you and your partner have:
- an equal right to stay in a matrimonial home that is located in Ontario
- a right to claim a share in the value of a matrimonial home wherever it is — in Ontario or anywhere else
This is true even if only one of you has legal title or owned the home before marriage.
The equal right to stay in the home is not about who owns the home. It is only about who can live in the home.
This means that even if your partner is the only owner of the matrimonial home, they can't lock you out or refuse to let you into the home without an agreement or .
You and your partner's equal right to stay in the home lasts until one of the following happens:
- There is a that says one of you can't live there.
- There is a court order that says one of you can't live there.
- You sell your matrimonial home or your lease ends.
- You get divorced: If you get divorced and you aren't on the title to the matrimonial home, you're no longer considered a spouse with an equal right to stay in the matrimonial home. This is an important reason why you might not want to get a until you have an agreement or court order about what to do with the matrimonial home.
If one of you decides to move out, that person does not give up their right to claim ownership of the matrimonial home or to claim a share in the value of the home.