Even though people who have separated must to divide their property, one partner may need to use or occupy property for a certain period. The court can grant orders giving a partner the right to occupy the family’s home.
A court can make occupation orders either because the partner needs the use of the house or because the partners’ children do. We look at when courts might use occupation orders when the interests of children are involved.
It can be a problem when a person seeks an occupation order but neither of the partners to the relationship owns the home. The home might be held on a trust rather than in the partners’ personal names. Sometimes a company owns the house and a partner is a shareholder in the company. In those circumstances, the court has no powers to grant an occupation order.
It might be better if the court could allow a partner to occupy the home for a definite period if, before the relationship ended, the family had permission from the trustees or company to live in the home and that permission has not been withdrawn.