Can I stay in the home without my spouse there?

Gravel and two wedding rings

Q:  I am married and we have a home together.  Can I stay in the home without my spouse there?


A:  The home in which married spouses live is called the “matrimonial home”.  It has special status as both married spouses have a right to “possess”, so occupy the matrimonial home.  Generally speaking, one spouse cannot block or forbid the other from being at the home.  However, under certain circumstances one spouse can seek to have “exclusive possession” of the matrimonial; so, to effectively have the home to him/herself alone.   A spouse would have to bring a motion before the court asking for an order that (s)he be granted exclusive possession of the home.  The court will give consideration to a number of issues when deciding whether to do so or not, including: the best interest of the children, any existing orders, the financial position of both spouses, any written agreements, the availability of other suitable and affordable accommodations, and whether there has been violence committed by a spouse against the other spouse or against the children.  If a spouse is granted exclusive possession, (s)he may also be ordered to pay for things related to the occupation of the home, for instance the mortgage or rent, property taxes, property insurance and/or utilities. We do a lot of family/divorce law across our three offices, including 8 Guelph Street, Georgetown, in the Lounsbury Life & Group Insurance Benefits building.  I am happy to have a Zoom meeting with you for a free consultation.  Stay well and safe, and have a great weekend.