Firstly, occupation of the home generally has no bearing upon the question who should ultimately retain the property as part of any final property settlement. The Family Court determines that question based on a whole range of different factors.
Secondly, there is no specific answer as to whether you should move out of the home after separation. It depends entirely upon your personal circumstances.
The Family Court may grant an order for exclusive occupation of the home depending upon the answers to many questions, such as –
- Can you afford to live elsewhere?
- Can the other party better afford to live elsewhere?
- Is it less convenient for you or the other party to move out? For example, do you live near your work, or do you run a business from home?
- Do you have children and if so, what are their interests? Do they attend school nearby? Do they have neighbourhood friends? Will moving house disrupt their studies or extra-curricular activities? Do grandparents live nearby who can provide you with family support?
- Is there a chance you will be able to take the home as part of a final property settlement? If yes, you can argue it makes sense to stay in the home to save the cost and disruption of moving.
You can apply for exclusive occupation even if you are not the legal owner of the property.