Housing can be a contentious issue during a separation or divorce. Deciding who should live where and who gets the family home can be one of the most difficult and challenging issues to agree on. The outcome will largely depend on your situation, for example:

  • If you are cohabiting, married or in a civil partnership
  • If you rent your home as joint tenants or there is one name on the tenancy
  • If you own your home jointly or it’s in one name
  • If it’s not safe to stay in your house because of domestic abuse
  • You may need to get some legal advice and/or you may need to contact your local council or housing provider to explain the situation

Can mediation help?

If you can’t agree then mediation can also be a useful tool to support you in making a decision that works for all the family.

Where children are involved it is important to consider what would be best for them. Hopefully, you can work it out between you amicably, if you need professional support there are a number of routes you can take including family mediation.

You will find lots of resources and support on housing on this hub, including where you can find professional support if you need it.

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External Resources


A national charity helping individuals understand their rights and get the support they need on a range of housing issues and concerns.

Citizens Advice

Housing issues often arise during and after a divorce or separation. Citizens Advice help you understand your rights and responsibilities. On their website you can find information about how to go about renting or buying a home or just finding somewhere to live. You can also find advice on handling problems with your landlord and help to avoid losing your home.