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Married owner occupiers

This section looks at occupancy rights and at the different ways of dividing property available to couples if their marriage ends. In particular it looks at the matrimonial home.

The law on relationship breakdown

A number of pieces of legislation will need to be considered when a marriage comes to an end. 

The matrimonial home

To establish the rights a married person has in relation to a property, it must first be established whether or not the property is a matrimonial home and who is the owner of the property. 

Right to occupy the home

Where a couple are married, both spouses will be entitled to occupy the family home, regardless of which one of them is the homeowner. 

Safeguarding occupancy rights

If there is a sole owner, the non-entitled spouse can take steps in order to secure or protect her/his occupancy rights in the matrimonial home. 

Court regulation of occupancy rights

This section looks at applications that can be made to court by either partner regarding occupancy rights. 

Exclusion orders

In order to exclude a spouse from the matrimonial home entirely it is first necessary to obtain an exclusion order from the court. 

Matrimonial interdicts

A matrimonial interdict is a court order that can be used to prohibit the non-applicant spouse from certain conduct towards the applicant spouse and any child of the family. 

Transactions relating to the home

This section looks at matrimonial homes legislation relating to transactions involving the marital home. 

Expenses relating to the home

There are different obligations in relation to expenses, such as mortgage payments, that arise as a result of owning a home. 

Re-mortgaging the home

Where one spouse owns the matrimonial home the non-entitled spouse must also consent to the granting of a mortgage over the home. 

Sale or disposal of the home

The sale or disposal of the matrimonial home depends on whether the home is jointly or solely owned. 

Staying in the home long term

The parties will usually want to resolve occupation of the matrimonial home once it is clear that the marriage has definitely ended. There are a number of long-term solutions that may or may not involve application to the court. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014