Q&A How do I get Marital Home Rights Notice removed in nightmare DIY divorce?

Q:        We were getting an amicable divorce; no kids, no solicitors, all simple. I own the house, she moved in after we married, she was going to move out when we decided to divorce. But now she is sitting tight because she cannot find anywhere ‘nice’ to rent, and things are getting nasty. She says she applied for something called a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice and I cannot kick her out. What is this and how do I get it removed from MY house?

A:           Matrimonial Home Rights apply to both parties in a marriage or civil partnership. They give each party a right to occupy the marital home until the marriage or civil partnership is legally ended, irrespective of who owns the home. They also apply to property rented in a sole name, but do not apply to second homes, buy to let or commercial properties that a couple have not lived in together.

The Rights are designed to protect a spouse’s right to remain in the home and prevent a sole owner from selling the marital home from under the feet of their spouse and rendering them homeless. The non-owing spouse can register their Matrimonial Home Rights with the Land Registry by way of a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice. This results in a written Notice being placed on the Title Deeds, making it clear to any potential purchasers that a non-owning spouse has Matrimonial Home Rights to occupy the property.

Once a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice has been registered it can only be removed if (a) a spouse or civil partner dies, (b) a Decree Absolute or Final Order confirming the end of a marriage or dissolution of a civil partnership has been issued, (c) the court has granted an order to remove it, or (d) the Notice applicant consents to its removal.

DIY divorces are always a dangerous choice. Before yours becomes any more complex you should seek urgent advice from a divorce lawyer. 

This question has been answered by Sean Rolinson, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194