What is the family home?

The family home is the place where you and your husband, wife or civil partner live together. It can be rented, or one or both of you may own it. You don't have to have children to have a family home. If you aren't married, you can still have occupancy rights to live in the family home.

What is the family home?

A family home is a property which you and your husband or wife or civil partner have both lived in together or were intending to live in. This means it can be a property that you've bought or rented but haven't moved into yet. However, it can't be a home that either of you has bought or rented to live in on your own or with someone else.

Therefore, if you live in a different place from your partner, it won't be counted as a family home, even if your partner arranged for you to live there. It won't be a family home even if your children (if you have any) are living there too.

A family home can be a house, flat, caravan, mobile home or houseboat.

When does a family home stop being a family home?

If you are married, the family home is also known as the 'matrimonial home'. Your home will continue to be a matrimonial home until you get divorced, even if you no longer live in it together.

If you are in a civil partnership, the family home will cease to be a family home when your partnership is dissolved, or if one of you has not lived there for five years.

Do I have rights to the family home if we're not married?

If you are not married, you can still have occupancy rights to the family home - these will depend on whether either or both of you rents or owns the home.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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