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Civil partner owner occupiers

This section looks at different ways of dividing property available to civil partners in the event of the relationship breaking down.

The law on relationship breakdown

A number of different pieces of legislation will possibly need to be considered when a relationship has ended. 

Right to occupy the home

Where a couple have entered into a civil partnership, both partners will be entitled to occupy the family home, regardless of which one of them is the homeowner. 

Safeguarding occupancy rights

There are a number of steps that a non-entitled partner or joint owner can take to safeguard her/his occupancy rights. 

Court regulation of occupancy rights

Where two civil partners remain in the property after their relationship has broken down, either civil partner can apply to the court for an order regulating or restricting the occupancy rights of the other civil partner. 

Exclusion orders

Regardless of whether there is a sole tenant or joint tenants, if a civil partner wishes to exclude her/his partner from the family home, s/he must seek a court order. 


Court orders can be granted to prohibit the non-applicant partner from certain conduct towards the applicant partner and any children of the family. 

Problems with occupancy rights

The civil partnerships legislation prevents a civil partner entering into a transaction that would impact on the other civil partner's occupancy rights without her/his consent. 

Mortgages and secured loans

A joint owner or entitled civil partner cannot take out a mortgage or loan secured on the family home without the other civil partner's consent. 

Division and sale

Where a property is jointly owned, both owners need to consent to its sale. Where one civil partner wishes to sell the property but does not have the other civil partner's permission to do, s/he must raise an action for the division and sale of the property. 

Dissolution of a civil partnership

When a civil partnership is dissolved the partners will no longer have the protection assumed from occupancy rights. A court granting the dissolution of a civil partnership can also make orders regarding the family home if asked to do so. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014