When parties separate, it is often necessary to discuss housing arrangements.

This is particularly important for the party who will be the primary caregiver of any children.

The following information applies to parties who are either married or in a de facto relationship.

Legal advice must be sought if an agreement can’t be made as to who will occupy the family home. Our lawyers can determine whether you have grounds to commence Family Court proceedings for a court order to establish exclusive occupancy.

The Family Court’s approach

Under the Family Law Act, when considering whether to grant one party the sole occupancy of the family home, the Family Court may make an order that it thinks is ‘proper’.

In decided cases, the Family Court has held that in determining whether it is proper to make a sole occupancy order, the following matters are to be taken into account:

  • The means and needs of the parties.
  • The needs of the children.
  • The hardship to either party or to the children.
  • Where relevant, conduct which justifies one party being expelled from the family home.

This is not an exhaustive list.

The Family Court must examine the entire circumstances of the parties concerned. This is to determine whether such an order is justified.

If you are seeking sole occupancy of your family home, we can provide you with advice and assist you in making an application to the Family Court for the relevant court orders. The Court must ascertain whether a sole occupancy order is proper.

Also, if it’s reasonable, sensible or practical to expect the parties to remain in the home together. Our family law Solicitors are experienced in defending applications for exclusive occupancy and can advise you on your specific situation.

Contact us

For all enquiries please contact Robertson Hayles Lawyers on (08) 9325 1700 by email at enquiries@robertsonhayles.com or via our contact form and we will be happy to assist you.