Keeping the former matrimonial home

by Kate Marr on October 1, 2012

Kate Marr

The Sydney Morning Herald, on 4 September 2012, reported a husband being ordered by the Family Court to dig up his parents ashes that were buried in the garden of the family farm.

The Family Court ordered that the wife retain the former matrimonial home and the husband demolish the memorial garden he had established at the property, which included removal of the headstones and his parent’s ashes contained in buried urns. Both the husband and the wife both sought to retain the farm on final settlement of their property matters. It seems that the wife and the two children remained living in the home post separation. It was reported that due to the memorial not being “immovably fixed” and the sentimental value placed on the property by the husband was not sufficient for the Court to order that he should retain the home.

In property matters, a party may receive a practical advantage in relation to keeping control of the family home in circumstances where it is required to be sold or if that party wants to retain it at the conclusion of the dispute.

If you are planning to retain the home at the conclusion of the proceedings, it is significant as to whether or not you have remained living in the home throughout the proceedings. If both parties wish to retain the former matrimonial home, the party that has remained in possession of the home is more likely to be able to retain it.

In addition, if parenting matters are in dispute, remaining in the former matrimonial home is significant in that it provides a familiar environment and setting for the children, whether they are living with you or spending time with you. It is of particular significance in situations where it is an issue in dispute over where the children will live therefore, retaining the former matrimonial home can be a significant strategic advantage.

We are aware that after the breakdown of a relationship it can be difficult to remain living under the one roof with your spouse. We understand that it may be necessary to leave the home, however, if you are able to remain in the home, this may well be recommended depending on the circumstances of your matter.

If you wish to seek further advice in relation to your prospects of retaining the former matrimonial home at the conclusion of a property settlement, please do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers. We have lawyers that are available to speak with you in Sydney, Wollongong, Miranda, Parramatta, Brisbane or Melbourne.

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