THE family home in law means the dwelling house that is wholly owned by either or both of the spouses and used habitually or from time to time by the spouses as the only or principal family residence together with any land, buildings, or improvements and used wholly or mainly for the purposes of the household. It does not include a dwelling house which is a gift to one spouse by a donor who intended that spouse alone to benefit.
Each spouse shall be entitled to one-half share of the family home:
(a) on the grant of a decree of dissolution of a marriage or the termination of cohabitation
(6) on the grant of a decree of nullity of marriage
(c) where a husband and wife have separated and there is no likelihood of reconciliation
Except where the family home is held by the spouses as joint tenants, on the termination of marriage or cohabitation caused by death, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-half share of the family home, unless the court is of the opinion that it would be unreasonable or unjust. Upon application by an interested party, the court will consider factors like:
(a) that the family home was inherited by one spouse
(b) that the family home was already owned by one spouse at the time of the marriage or the beginning of cohabitation
(c) that the marriage is of short duration
Where the title to a family home is in the name of one spouse only, the other spouse may take steps to protect his or her interest, including the lodging of a caveat under the Registration of Titles Act, including that any transaction concerning the family home shall require the consent of both spouses.