Can My Spouse Force Me To Move Out In Calgary, Alberta?

If you live in Calgary, Alberta and are facing the difficult situation of getting kicked out of your home, you might be wondering what your legal rights are and if you should be in the process of contacting the best Calgary divorce lawyers. Some frequently asked questions about separation are as follows:

  • Can your spouse kick you out?
  • Is it legal?
  • What about the common-law spouse living in his or her own home?

In Alberta, a married couple cannot be forced to move out of their matrimonial home against their will. In the absence of a court order, a husband and wife have an equal right to occupy the home.

For those in a common-law relationship, the new laws apply if the relationship ended after January 1, 2020. Under this new law, equal sharing of property is imposed on unmarried couples. This means that any property owned by either partner during the common-law relationship will be subject to equal sharing at the end of the relationship. This is true whether or not one of the partners paid for the property in question. If the other partner contributed either directly or indirectly to the household-they will have a claim to the property.

What Are My Rights During Marital Separation In Alberta?

While most couples separate when one spouse leaves the marital residence, this is not always the most financially feasible option. Several problems can arise when you and your spouse must live apart, these are largely due to financial circumstances. Sometimes it is just not fiscally responsible for spouses to live separately.

In this instance, you can still live under the same roof as your spouse but you must live as though you were living apart. This means that you can no longer entertain or eat with one another, you can no longer sleep with your spouse and one of you must have the intent to move out sometime in the future when the circumstances will permit it.

The question of who is entitled to live in the matrimonial home after the end of a marriage is one of the most common issues raised in family law matters. There are several ways you can deal with this issue, including dividing the house or taking turns living in it. Most couples choose one of these options, which can represent an amicable solution to their dilemmas. However, if your spouse will not agree to either of these options, you may apply to the Court for an Exclusive Home Possession Order. In these instances, it is best that you begin searching for Calgary divorce lawyers and request a consultation.

Exclusive Home Possession Order, (EHPO) means that no one, including your spouse, can live in the matrimonial home except you. The person who does not have exclusive home possession has no right to go back into the home after being evicted by the Court during the time that has been set out in the EHPO.

What Is Considered A Common-Law Relationship In Alberta?

To determine if a couple is a common law (or, as it is not referred to, in an Adult Interdependent Partnership, the court must consider these 2 factors:

  1. The two partners have lived together for a period of 3 or more years; and
  2. The two partners have lived together with some degree of permanence, and have a child together.

What Are My Rights During Common-Law Separation In Alberta?

Under previous legislation, there was no protection of the rights of unmarried couples during separation. As of January 1, 2020, common-law partners of separating couples in Alberta will be entitled to the same protections of property and family law. This includes the right to apply for dispute resolution under family law if they are unable to reach an agreement by other means, placing greater importance on negotiations leading up to the separation.

It also means that even though you were not in a marital relationship, but you contributed to the household directly, meaning:

  • Contributing to the mortgage;
  • Contributing to the utility payments; and
  • Contributing to household renovations.

That you have a right and/or a claim to the property in question. You may also have a right to the property in question if you contributed to the household indirectly. The indirect contribution would include, but is not limited to:

  • Providing childcare while other partner works;
  • Maintaining the household; and
  • Decorating the household.

If you believe that you have a claim to the property and you are unable to amicably divide your assets, you may want to contact a divorce mediator in Calgary. In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, you will want to look into hiring a highly recommended family lawyer for fair representation in your case.

Before you start talking to one of the many Calgary divorce lawyers, think about your goals and what you want to achieve in this separation process. Every case has different facts and situations that may change the options available to you. There is no one way to resolve your situation and there is no guarantee that you will receive everything you are asking for.