Husband Continues to Live in Home After Split – Should He Pay Occupation Rent to the Wife?
The couple, who had married in 1973, separated almost 40 years later. During the marriage the husband had worked at a local mill and mine, while the wife had a traditional role and stayed home to raise their children.
They owned the matrimonial home jointly, and the husband continued to live in it after they split.
The wife applied to the court for an order that the matrimonial home should be listed for sale; she also asked the court to order the husband to pay her occupation rent, pending the eventual sale.
After considering the various factors, the court granted part of her request forcing the home to be listed – even though the home was located in a small mill town where the mill had closed, there was still a market for real estate in the area and the home was to be listed at a mutually-agreed price after consulting with a realtor.
However, the court declined to order the husband to pay occupation rent. Pointing out that its ability to make such an order was fully at its discretion, the court still had to balance the various relevant factors to determine whether ordering occupation rent was reasonable in all the circumstances. It concluded that at this stage, such an order would be premature.
This was because the current arrangement allowed the husband to live in the house inexpensively, so it did not make sense to force him out of the home in the winter when there was no one available to look after it. Instead, the court ordered that the house did not have to be put on the market until April, and the proceeds could be put into trust until the court made another order.
For the full text of the decision, see:
Charron v. Charron (2014), 2014 ONSC 496, 2014 CarswellOnt 694, J. deP. Wright J. (Ont. S.C.J.) [Ontario] http://canlii.ca/t/g2s0h
At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at www.RussellAlexander.com.