History doesn’t count for much when it comes to divorce, as a Sussex man found out recently. Anthony Grubb’s family had owned the estate at Mayes House in East Grinstead for many years, but when he separated from his wife, Jennifer, it was she who was given the exclusive right to occupy the property by the court.

Mr Grubb’s wife had applied for and was granted an ‘occupation order’ on the grounds of stress caused by his behaviour. It was argued that her health would continue to suffer were her husband to remain living under the same roof.

The effect of the order is to bar Mr Grubb from the property until such time as the financial side of the divorce is settled. This is likely to be some way off, as the first hearing on ancillary relief (as lawyers call it) is not scheduled until March 2010.

The court will consider all the relevant facts when making decisions such as this: however, long-term ownership of a property by the family of one of a separating couple is unlikely to carry much weight.

For advice on all matters relating to family break-up, contact us.