Just recently it was the hoary old chestnut of `The ex is trying make me leave my home – what do I do?’. Often the speaker is already out – living with parents, sofa surfing or in a worst-case-scenario living on the streets. We’ve known all of these to happen.
For whatever reason it tends to be the male partner who is facing this situation; speculation on why this is the case is something for another day.
Typically he’ll have left under the pressure of persuasion of an ex partner, her parents, the police, her solicitor or a combination thereof.
It’s not black and white…
Do I have to leave my home? The legal position.
As always…it depends. If one of the below is true the answer is `No – you do not have to move out’:
- You are married to your ex partner.
- You are unmarried but your name is on the tenancy/mortgage.
If neither of the above is true you have a legal right to remain in a property.
Why do people leave if this is the case? It’s because of the pressure they are under. The ignorance. Because of a sense of old-fashioned duty to do `the right thing’ in terms of an ex wife/female partner and/or children. Sometimes it is…sometimes it isn’t. The devil is in the detail.
When you do have to move out from a legal perspective it is because:
- There is a court order telling you to (including an occupation order).
- You aren’t married and aren’t on the tenancy agreement/mortgage and you ex partner asks you to.
Of course – that’s not say that it is quite possible to be legally entitled to stay but are in a situation where there are good and pragmatic reasons to leave but again…that’s a discussion for another day.
What is the impact of leaving your home on divorce and/or children?
In short: You have just handed a MAJOR tactical advantage to your ex partner without a metaphorical shot being fired.
You’ve abandoned the family home. Your ex partner. Your children. Voluntarily. It will quite possibly be used against you. If child contact issues, etc. are unresolved you have ensured that the children have remained in the family home giving them the stability they need. You will also be seen by any council, housing association, etc. as voluntarily making yourself homeless.
Don’t think this will make any difference in what you may consider an eventual `fair’ outcome. Trust me. It won’t. Think carefully before you leave your home. Don’t do it. Get advice before doing so.