Enter email to subscribe to Free Divorce Mini-Course

Further Resources

  1. Prenuptial Agreements - Marriage contract and cohabitation agreement information.
  2. Uncontested Divorce - Obtain an uncontested divorce or a separation agreement.
  3. Common Law Separation - Resource for common law couples
  4. French Site - French language family law web site.

Ontario Family Law Act

Section 24 - Possession of Matrimonial Home
(1) Regardless of the ownership of a matrimonial home and its contents, and despite section 19 (spouse's right of possession), the court may on application, by order,

[This is the provision of the Family Law Act that allows the court to order "exclusive possession of the matrimonial home" - one spouse is permitted to remain in the home, and the other spouse must move out.]

(a) provide for the delivering up, safekeeping and preservation of the matrimonial home and its contents;

(b) direct that one spouse be given exclusive possession of the matrimonial home or part of it for the period that the court directs and release other property that is a matrimonial home from the application of this Part;

(c) direct a spouse to whom exclusive possession of the matrimonial home is given to make periodic payments to the other spouse;

(d) direct that the contents of the matrimonial home, or any part of them,
(i) remain in the home for the use of the spouse given possession, or
(ii) be removed from the house for the use of a spouse or child;

(e) order a spouse to pay for all or part of the repair and maintenance of the matrimonial home and of other liabilities arising in respect of it, or to make periodic payments to the other spouse for those purposes;

(f) authorize the disposition or encumbrance of a spouse's interest in the matrimonial home, subject to the other spouse's right of exclusive possession as ordered; and

(g) where a false statement is made under subsection 21(3), direct
(i) the person who made the false statement, or
(ii) a person who knew at the time he or she acquired an interest in the property that the statement was false and afterwards conveyed the interest,
to substitute other real property for the matrimonial home, or direct the person to set aside money or security to stand in place of it, subject to any conditions that the court considers appropriate.

(2) The court may, on motion, make a temporary or interim order under clause (1)(a), (b), (c), (d) or (e). (3) In determining whether to make an order for exclusive possession, the court shall consider,

[These are the factors that a court will look at to decide which (if either) spouse is entitled to exclusive possession of the matrimonial home.]

(a) the best interests of the children affected;

(b) any existing orders under Part I (Family Property) and any existing support orders;

(c) the financial position of both spouses;

(d) any written agreement between the parties;

(e) the availability of other suitable and affordable accommodation; and

(f) any violence committed by a spouse against the other spouse or the children.

(4) In determining the best interests of a child, the court shall consider,

[What is best for the children is a major consideration in determining whether to grant a spouse exclusive possession of the matrimonial home.]

(a) the possible disruptive effects on the child of a move to other accommodation; and

(b) the child's views and preferences, if they can reasonably be ascertained.

Return to Family Law Act index.
Divorce and family law Web Directory