The family home is in my spouse’s sole name – do I have any entitlement to it?

Sally Clark Blog

Do I have any entitlement to the family home in my spouse’s name? The short answer is yes. Upon the breakdown of your marriage, it is important to deal with finances. When determining how assets are to be divided, all must be valued and it must be determined whether assets are to be deemed matrimonial assets, and therefore to be taken into consideration when separating assets and during negotiations.

The family matrimonial home (FMH) is, for most, the largest asset. The FMH is almost always considered a matrimonial asset regardless of whether it is registered solely in your spouse’s name or when they purchased it. Whilst your spouse may try and argue that it is non-matrimonial and therefore should be not be considered, case law suggest that this argument will not be successful.

By virtue of the marriage itself and residence in the family home, you will also have acquired a legal right of occupation. Upon separation (or even during marriage) you should consider applying to the Land Registry to place a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice on the property. This will prevent your spouse from selling / transferring the property without your knowledge and consent.

If you are considering divorce and your spouse does hold the FMH in his sole name, we would advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible so we can provide you provide you with further information and help you with the application to place the Home Rights Notice on the register of title, as soon as possible.

Please note, the law in this area is different if you and your ex-partner are not married. Please read our other blog on the common law marriage myth, for more information.

At Barnes Clark Family Law, we are specialists in all aspects of private family law, including the distribution of assets upon divorce / separation. We can provide you with up to date and expert advice and assist you in bringing your matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

For further information, or to arrange an appointment please contact us on 01274 861096 (Liversedge) or 01423 637272 (Harrogate) or email Please note that we offer a free half an hour consultation.