HomeFamilies + ChildrenDivorce & separationDeciding who will move out when you separate

Deciding who will move out when you separate

Man waiting on stairs, sitting and reading contract

When a couple separates, a question arises: who’s going to move out? Learn your rights when deciding who goes and who stays — and how to enforce the decision.

“Melina and I were arguing a lot. Last week she told me I had to move out. I didn’t know what to do. We bought our home together; it’s in both of our names! (Plus I’ve helped with the renos, the mortgage and the bill payments.) A lawyer told me I had just as much right to be in our home as Melina. The lawyer also told me that we can be separated while living in the same home. Now, I live downstairs and Melina lives upstairs while we figure out how to deal with our family issues.”

– Sergio, Maple Ridge, BC

Thirty-something man with beard and collared shirt

What you should know

Next steps

Common questions

Who can help

  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in April 2020
  • Time to read: 12 minutes

Reviewed for legal accuracy by

Samantha Rapoport, Brown Henderson Melbye and Renée Aldana, South Coast Law Group

Samantha Rapoport, Brown Henderson Melbye
Renée Aldana, South Coast Law Group

Share this page

This information from People’s Law School explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. See our disclaimer.


On Dial-A-Law

Dial-A-Law has more information on Divorce & separation in the section on Families + Children.

We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.