Property owned in your ex-partner’s name? Matrimonial Home Rights Notices explained

Upon the breakdown of a marriage / civil partnership you might feel extremely vulnerable and worried about the prospect that you may have to leave the family home if it is owned by your spouse. It is important to know your rights in relation to the family home, even when your name is not registered on the property.

What is a Home Rights Notice?

A Home Rights Notice is automatically created when a couple enters a marriage / civil partnership. This means a spouse will have an automatic right to remain living in the family home, even when the property is registered in the sole name of the other spouse, unless there is an Occupation Order stating you must leave the family home. A Home Rights Notice can only be registered against the family home. The consent of the owning spouse is not required to register the Home Rights Notice.

How do I know if my spouse owns the family home in their sole name?

This information can be obtained from the official copies or title deeds of the property. You can obtain these documents from the Land Registry. Alternatively, we can obtain these documents for you and assist you when registering a Home Rights Notice.

What impact does a Home Rights Notice have?

A Home Rights Notice can be utilised to prevent a spouse from removing the non-owning party from the property when the relationship breaks down.

The Notice will also act as a legal charge on the property. Lenders and potential buyers of the property will know that someone other than the registered owner has an interest in the property.

The Notice will prevent the owning spouse from selling the property, rendering the non-owning spouse homeless.

It is imperative to contact a solicitor if the non-owning spouse suspects their ex-partner intends to sell a property.

What if my property is unregistered?

Even with a compulsory registration system in place within the UK, there are properties that remain unregistered. If you believe the property is unregistered, you can still protect your matrimonial home rights, however the process is more complicated. It is advisable to seek legal advice in this instance.

When does a Home Rights Notice end?

A Home Rights Notice is terminated when Decree Absolute / Final Divorce Order is obtained within divorce proceedings. A Home Rights Notice will also end upon the death of your spouse or civil partner, or by an order of the Court.

If you currently find yourself in circumstances whereby you believe a Home Rights Notice may be beneficial to you, it is advisable to seek legal advice at an early stage. You can contact us on 0151 281 9040 or alternatively you can email us at

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