Can a partner that you never married force you to sell your house if their on the deed?

UPDATED: May 6, 2017

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Can a partner that you never married force you to sell your house if their on the deed?

I bought a home 4 years ago. My name is the only name on the mortgage, water, electric, gas, and so

forth. I’ve paid all the bills in the house and I made the mistake of putting a woman I was in love with on the deed. We renovated the house in which I paid for a new roof, new siding, new addition, new electric and water lines ran throughout, so in laments term I’ve paid for everything. We have reached an end of our relationship and it has become extremely messy in which she is in her words

Asked on May 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Actually, they can. The law provides a legal remedy known as "partition". This is employed when co-owners of property cannot agree as to ownership matters. In a partiton action, the court will order that the property be divided, if feasible. If not (as in the case of a single family dwelling), it will instead order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be ordered to be sold with the sale proceeds to be equitably divided. This means that the court will take into account all monies that you alone have paid into the property (assuming that you have proof of same). That having been said, before the property is put on the open market, any owner who wishes to retain it, can buy out the other party for fair market value less any equity that the purchasing owner has put into it. At this point, you should consult directly with a local attorney as to all of this. After hearing all of the details of your situation, they can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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