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Occupational Rent

Posted by philhud 
Occupational Rent
January 10, 2021 11:18AM
Due to irretrievable marriage breakdown I left the jointly owned (mortgage free) family home August 2019 and moved into rented accommodation. My now ex-wife, changed the locks and has illegally barred me from the property, also denying access to my possessions. We were divorced April 2020, with a consent order in place and the house is in the process of being sold, despite my ex-wife's persistent obstructiveness.

My question is - can I sue my ex-wife for Occupational Rent for my half of the property, whist she has continued to live there with her working adult children, rent and mortgage free? The consent order was a simple 50/50 split of assets and pensions, but no mention of occupational rent.

It appears this issue needs to be addressed and taken more seriously regarding divorce and consent orders, the ousted partner needs to be protected from the partner who think they can kick the unwanted partner out of the matrimonial home and remain in situ rent free, and in my case deliberately delaying the sale of the property for their own gains.

Grateful for any advice on Occupational Rent.
Re: Occupational Rent
January 11, 2021 10:12AM
There is a court order settling the financial issues arising from the marriage in place. If you wanted to raise the question of occupational rent you should have done so then.

It is not a question of 'the ousted partner needs to be protected'. You were the ousted partner. You were the one responsible for looking after your interests. There is no reason why anyone else should do so.
Re: Occupational Rent
January 11, 2021 08:28PM
Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately you engage a solicitor charging £250 per hour over many months, trusting and assuming they are working in your best interests, covering every financial aspect. Clearly this is not the case. I suspect many victims of divorce are not aware of this Occupational Rent issue, which as you say should be raised and addressed from the outset.

Next time around I'll get it right!
Re: Occupational Rent
January 12, 2021 05:01PM
You assume that you were entitled to an occupational rent as of right. You were not. The fact is that the terms of settlement between you and your (ex) dealt with all financial claims between you no matter how speculative. The settlement was a global one. Court orders would be the length of War and Peace if every possible claim was separately listed and some sort of value attributed to it. The court order will no doubt also have dealt with all possible claims under the Matrimonial Property Act to which your (ex) wife may have had some entitlement.
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