This section looks at the different ways of resolving disputes between married couples over who can/will remain in a tenancy if their marriage ends.
A number of pieces of legislation will need to be considered when a relationship has ended.
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.
When a couple are married, each has the right to occupy the matrimonial home regardless of which of them is the tenant.
The rights and duties a spouse has in relation to the matrimonial home will often depend on whether s/he is a tenant, joint tenant or non-entitled spouse.
While awaiting decisions about the long-term tenancy arrangements following the breakdown of a relationship there may be occasions when the couple remain in the matrimonial home together.
There may be some situations in which a spouse wishes to exclude the other from the matrimonial home. In such a situation s/he would have to seek an exclusion order from the court.
Either spouse can apply to the court for a matrimonial interdict either after one of them has moved out or while they are still living together. A matrimonial interdict can be used to restrain the conduct of either spouse.
If there is a sole tenant, the non-entitled spouse can take steps in order to secure and or protect her/his occupancy rights in the matrimonial home.
There are various actions that a tenant or joint tenant could take, such as attempting to end the tenancy, which could cause problems with her/his spouse's occupancy rights.
In order for the non-entitled spouse or joint tenant to ensure s/he can stay in the matrimonial home after a divorce or separation, s/he can have the tenancy transferred into her/his name.
Last updated: 29 December 2014