Staying in your partner's property during a divorce or separation

Overview

You can register your ‘home rights’ with HM Land Registry - this can help stop your partner from selling your home.

You can’t apply for home rights if your spouse or civil partner owns the property with someone else - unless your spouse or civil partner would get all the money if the property was sold (also known as being the ‘sole beneficial owner’).

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Before you apply for home rights

You’ll need to know if the property is registered in your partner’s name, and its title number if it is.

You can search the register to find this information.

How to apply

You must complete a different application process for home rights depending on whether:

How long you can stay in the property

You can usually only live in the property until the divorce, annulment or dissolution has been finalised and a court settlement agreed.

You may be able to continue living in the property for longer, for example during an ongoing dispute about who owns what, if a court has made a ‘continuation order’ allowing you to do this.

What else you can do

You may be able to take legal action against your partner if they try to:

  • make you move out
  • stop you moving back into a home you’re not currently living in, for example if you moved out temporarily

A solicitor can advise you about this.

  1. Step 1 Get support and advice

    You can get support or counselling to help you through the divorce process.

    1. Get support and advice from Relate
    2. Find a counsellor on Counselling Directory
  2. Step 2 Check if you can get divorced

  3. Step 3 Make arrangements for children, money and property

  4. Step 4 Apply for a divorce

  5. Step 5 Apply for 'decree nisi'

    You need to apply for a 'decree nisi' and give the court more information about why your marriage has broken down.

    1. Apply for a decree nisi
  6. Step 6 Finalise your divorce

    You need to apply for a 'decree absolute' to finalise your divorce. You'll have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day from the date of your decree nisi.

    1. Apply for a decree absolute

    Once the court approves your decree absolute, they'll send you both a copy of it and your divorce will be complete.

  7. Step 7 Report that your circumstances have changed

    You also have to tell other government organisations that you're getting divorced if: