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Don't wait too long to file for Exclusive Possession of the Matrimonial Home! It may hurt worse

Updated on December 22, 2011

Control your emotions

  1. Do not allow your emotions to get the better of you. They tend to sway you away from the next logical step. If you and your spouse own your home together, both of you have equal right to live in the matrimonial home. It does not matter whether you are separated and getting a divorce or just taking a much needed break. As long as you can get along and not fight with each other, the house does not have to be ordered sold and assets divided.
  2. What ever you do, do not move out! It lessens your chances to get back into the home. Try to do everything that has to be done while under the same roof.
  3. It seems that once you leave the home, your rights to your property fly out the window.
  4. File an 'Application for Exclusive Possession of Matrimonial Property' with the court. It benefits you if you are the first to file with the courts;however; it does not necessarily guarantee that you will win. You must provide locations for adequate living accommodations for your spouse should you win.
  5. NOTE: You may have to file for separation and/or divorce at the same time that you file for Exclusive Possession

This is all generated from my own actual experiences within this last few months. I researched the Ontario Property Law on the internet and thought it was current and accurate. However, some people do not believe that it is so.

I recently separated from my husband in 2008. We own our house together free and clear. YES!! I did say 'own' not 'owned'. I left the home because I could not live there with him any longer. We decided early on in the separation that neither one of us would persue a legal separation, division of property or even custody of our young son. An agreement was made between us that neither one of us would ever bring or move another person into the house. It was our home and even though we were separated, it would remain a safe zone for the both of us.

This proved to be my first and probably my worst mistake!! I subsequently allowed him to make changes to my home and destroy items that were of sentimental value to me. This was all because I was not there in the physical sense to stop anything.

This small experience has taught me not to let my emotions control me. When you are dealing with a separation of any kind you must be aware of manipulative people. They are all around and can take the simplest of situations to whole new level.

Research not only property law but family law as well. Depending on the situation, both laws may overlap and you need to understand where the overlap is. For instance, the matrimonial home falls under property law. When you separate and have to divide up your physical assets, it falls under family law AND property law.

When a separation occurs but both parties agree to leave things as they are for now, the situation becomes fuzzy. If during this time the spouse remaining in the house brings a significant other into the home, it changes how the other spouse is looked upon. The wife/husband that is not living in the home becomes the significant others landlord. In this situation the 'Landlord and Tenant Act' comes into play.

Your house falls under property law. One good thing to know is that a lawyer who does not specialize in property law will direct you to speak with a property lawyer as they themselves do not know accurate information.

Listen to the police regarding your home and your rights to it because they do know a little about what they are telling you, but always question a property lawyer to ensure accuracy. The police only know what they have learned from individual cases that they themselves have dealt with. For instance, an officer may tell you something like, "Well, in my experience having been called in regarding cases like yours..."

Each case is different as I learned. It really has to do with what legal steps have been taken prior to the authorities being called. Sometimes loopholes allow a step or two to be skipped. I found out from a friend that my husband moved his girlfriend into our house. I sent her a message over facebook telling her to get out of my house. I was not nasty in the message but I did let her know that I was not allowing her to move in. She responded by sending me a nasty message telling me to piss off. Then she topped it off by calling the police and reported that I was harassing her.

I was later informed by the police officer that I have absolutely no rights to my own home. She does and if she wanted to, she could have me banned from my own property and charged with trespassing. I called my property lawyer who advised that since he moved in his girlfriend I have to now view myself and her landlord. So, does that mean that now I can evict her if she messes up like a regular tenant would? She doesn't pay me rent which she should be doing.

I know that I was misinformed by the officer but I am not stupid. I am researching everything to ensure that I have all bases covered.

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      Eduardo 2 years ago

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