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Can I protect my home on divorce if I do not own it?

November 17, 2020

If you are divorcing your spouse or dissolving your civil partnership, it will often be a very worrying and upsetting time for both of you. This may especially be the case if your spouse or civil partner owns the family home in their sole name and you are unsure whether you can remain in the property whilst the financial settlement negotiations are ongoing. It is possible to protect your right to remain in the family home under property law.

Registered properties

The vast majority of properties will be registered with the Land Registry, which means there is a record of all of the details relating to the property held online with the Land Registry in a document called the title register. If the family home is registered, you can register a matrimonial home rights notice with the Land Registry by using a HR1 form.

Registering this notice does not give you any new rights, but you will have the same right to occupy the family home as if you were the owner and it will make it difficult for your spouse or civil partner to sell the family home. It is very off putting for a buyer because the matrimonial home rights notice allows you to remain living in the property even once it has been sold and the new owner has moved in.

Unregistered properties

If the family home is an older property, it may not be registered at the Land Registry and is therefore considered to be unregistered land. This means that there is no title register held at the Land Registry and so the process to protect your matrimonial home rights is different.

To protect your home rights against an unregistered property, you have to make an application to the Land Charges Department for the registration of a Class F land charge by using a K2 form and paying a £1 fee. This charge will be registered against the property owner and not against the land itself.

Cancelling your home rights

It is important not to apply to cancel your home rights until you have received the decree absolute in the case of a divorce and the final order in the case of dissolving a civil partnership.

Wallace Robinson & Morgan is happy to help if you would like advice about divorce or dissolving your civil partnership and agreeing a financial settlement with your spouse or civil partner. If you would like to discuss your matter, please call and ask to speak to a member of the Family law team on 0121 705 7571 or email

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.