Question:  I am married but separated.  The house we live in is in my name alone.  Does my spouse have  a right to be here, or can I tell my spouse to leave?


Answer:  If you are married and live in Ontario, the residence in which you ordinarily live at the time of separation in Ontario is considered the “matrimonial home”.  Married spouses each have the right to “possess”, i.e. occupy, the matrimonial home after separation.  This is true even if the home is not in a spouse’s name, but only in the other spouse’s name.  The home can be one which one or both spouses own, or even a rental property one or both of you lease as married spouses but do not own. 

This is a right that married spouses have over people who are not married and who live in a “common law” relationship.  The only way that you can legally have a spouse removed from the home is either by express written agreement, or a court order. 

If it is not tolerable to live together in the home after separation, especially if you have children together and they are being negatively impacted by marital conflict, it is best for one of the spouses/parents to leave the home, hopefully on consent for the sake of the children, or by court order if he or she does not agree to leave.

Lockyer + Hein LLP is a full service law firm that does a lot of family law.  We are happy to meet you for a free consultation at one of our three offices, including 8 Guelph Street, Georgetown, in the Lounsbury Life & Group Insurance Benefits building.