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SASH_Law, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4686
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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How can I find out if I’m legally separated and what rights

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Hello there, how can I find out if I’m legally separated and what rights I have to the marital home?
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No, nothing filed but my ex chose to leave the property 4months ago
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: I live near Darlington in county durham
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: just that ,y ex keeps threatening with a residency order

Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.

What do you mean by 'legally separated' - did you make an application to court for that rather than divorce?

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, I thought I’d messaged back but hadn’t sorry. No nothing filed with court or anything but we’ve lived separate lives in separate houses for over 4months. I’m guessing legally we’re married until a divorce is finalised?

Legally separated is a specific term, it doesn't just mean that you have split up, it is something that is sanctioned by the court, so it is probable that you are not legally separated.

But if you are separated - marriage is over as far as you both are concerned, then either one of you can petition for divorce and apply for a financial settlement to resolve the marital assets. You remain married until the court pronounces the decree absolute.

If you would like to petition for divorce, you can do so on the grounds of reasonable behaviour once you have been married at least a year (you can't file for divorce until you have been married at least one year), or you can decide to divorce because both of you consent, after a two year separation. You can petition for divorce online or via a paper application (a D8). And once you have done that you can file for financial settlment on Form A.

Whilst you remain married, you have what are known as home rights to the former matrimonial home - if it is in your spouse's sole name, you should register the home rights with the Land Registry now - on form HRN1 - home rights end once the divorce is finalised, so you have to ensure you get the financial settlement resolved prior to the decree absolute.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok can I ask a question about the marital home?

I already answered your question about the marital home in my response above (last paragraph).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the home is in my sole name. I bought the house several years before my wife moved in. My wife left the home in February and set up her own house but is now staying she can come and go to the matrimonial home as she pleases and has threatened to move back in. Am I able to stop this or is she right?

She has the same rights to the matrimonial home as you do - the only way either of you could stop the other entering is by agreement between both of you or by the order of the court by an occupation order. Occupation orders are only granted if there has been abuse or harm to a party or relevant children.

I'd appreciate if you could kindly take a moment to rate positively as that is how I am paid for assisting you today - thank you.

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