Separation And Divorce: Moving Out (Part 2)

In our last post, we began the conversation about deciding who will move out following a separation or divorce. We continue here by addressing a few more questions and looking at ways to avoid unnecessary conflict, when possible.


Can I Force My Ex To Move Out

According to British Columbia’s Family Law Act, the court may grant one spouse exclusive occupancy of the family home, provided that the other spouse is able to demonstrate that:

  • It would be considered impossible, or nearly impossible, for both parties to remain under one roof
  • That it would be more convenient for one spouse to remain in the house versus the other

Typically, both spouses have equal rights to live in the home, unless there has been a court order or an agreement has been made.

Who Pays The Bills?

Handling household finances after a separation can be quite complex. In situations where one spouse is seeking exclusive occupancy, the expectation may be that they are required to handle all the expenses including mortgage payments, utility bills, and property taxes.

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to apply for an order for support which means that the court would require them to provide help with the bills. One spouse may also request that the house be sold which could be possible, provided that both parties are included on the title.

Can These Problems Be Prevented?

While it can be hard to predict how a separation or divorce will play out, there are tools that can help mitigate roadblocks and complications. A separation agreement can address important issues such as property division and living arrangements while helping avoid unnecessary escalation.

Preparing a separation agreement is often a more cost-effective and flexible way of addressing this type of issue while allowing the couple to stay in control. Because a separation agreement is legally binding, it can prove to be very helpful in avoiding litigation.

Regardless of whether you have a separation agreement in place or not, it is important to get legal help. Separation and divorce is hard but knowing that there is support available can go a long way.

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