The question of how to kick your former partner out of the house legally comes up quite often when couples are experiencing unpleasant times in their relationship and are contemplating separating or even divorce.
At the time of separation, couples residing in the same home typically disagree about their living arrangements for the immediate future, and so it is important to understand your rights and obligations during this difficult time.
The purpose of this article is to provide information regarding the scenario where you can kick your former partner out of the house legally in Australia.
Can I Kick Them Out If The Property Is Registered Under Both Of Our Names?
If the property is under both of your names, your former partner is entitled to regain access to the property without your consent, as you both possess equal proprietary rights to the home.
Without a court order, you cannot legally kick your former partner out of the house in Australia. In the absence of breached court orders, safety concerns or illegal activity, your partner has no obligation to leave the premises at the mere demand of another party.
Section 114 gives the court the power to implement injunctions, including “an injunction relating to the use or occupancy of the matrimonial home”.
Enforcing the exclusion of your former partner from the matrimonial home is considered a highly serious matter by the court and is most often awarded in a situation where you are in danger.
Applications for the exclusive use of the family home may be made in the Family Court. In these circumstances, the court will consider several factors, including:
- Whether the party being excluded has the financial capacity to lease another property;
- If there are children, how their arrangements between the couple will be affected;
- Whether there exists a risk of violence; and
- Whether both parties can live under the same roof with minimal contact will be based on the physical layout of the property.
Who Can Stay In The House During Separation?
In most instances, partners who are separating will agree on who will stay and leave the family home.
If both partners cannot agree, a family law court may be able to make an order for one party to leave when typically the abovementioned factors are present.
Can I Change The Locks To The Home After Separation?
Technically, you can change the locks at any time. However, if your former partner is also a registered owner of the home, they have equal rights to the home. This means that they can re-enter the home if they wish to do so and change their locks themselves.
It is also good practice to notify your former partner if you do change the locks to avoid unnecessary drama, especially if there are children involved or wish to collect their belongings.
A Final Thought
The immediate period following separation is quite a difficult and stressful time for both parties. It is vital to keep a level head during this time and not abuse or threaten your former partner. Remaining calm in this situation and continuing to pay your share of the associated costs of the property helps to ensure an efficient and harmonious property settlement.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
It is important to note when issues such as how to kick your former partner out of the house legally arise to make sure you understand your legal rights before making any impulsive decisions.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
If you have any more questions about how to kick your former partner out of the house legally or any other family law matters, check out some of our other informative articles