It is difficult enough when, for whatever reason, a couple separates. It is an even worse situation when one person refuses to move out of the home. It might be the case that one person can’t afford to move out and pay rent somewhere until they have received their share of a property settlement or there are young children involved who need to stay near their daycare and school, which makes it difficult to find alternate accommodation because friends and family members don’t always live locally.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon.
If you are in this situation, you can apply to the Court asking for an order that you live in the home to the exclusion of your ex.
Helen is a stay-at-home mother who cares for her 3 children. Her ex works full-time and he normally takes the one car they own each day to get to and from work. The two youngest children attend the local primary school which is around a 10 minute walk from the home and the eldest child attends high school in a neighbouring suburb. That child catches the bus to school from a bus stop around the corner from the home. The eldest child is struggling with the separation and their behaviour is becoming difficult to manage and the child is showing signs of stress and worry.
Helen can’t stay with her parents as they live in a one bedroom home in a retirement village and Helen doesn’t have any siblings or close friends that live locally.
The court may decide that Helen can stay in the family home with her children as she could not afford to pay the rent on a property that is big enough for herself and her 3 children as she would be reliant on government allowances. Helen’s ex works full-time and has agreed that he doesn’t have the ability to care for the children on a full-time basis if Helen were to move out on her own. Helen can get the children to and from school without the need for the parties’ one car so her ex would be able to continue to drive himself to work from wherever he was able to get accommodation. Her ex can afford to pay the rent on a small one bedroom apartment if needed as he is working full-time. The court may also decide that it is better for the children if Helen’s ex were to move out as that would take away the conflict and stress in the home and things can then start to settle down for everyone.
The court takes these kinds of applications very seriously so it is important that you can show you have good reasons for why you should get to stay in the home and your ex be the one to leave.
There may also be issues of domestic violence or intimidation that make it impossible for you to continue to live in the same home.