If I’m buying a home jointly with my girlfriend, what are my rights in the event that we split up?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

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If I’m buying a home jointly with my girlfriend, what are my rights in the event that we split up?

If we seperate can she be forced to sell her half of home to me or me to her? Would the home have to be sold and the money seperated? We have 2 kids, so could she stay in the home until they turn 18 and I’d have to move?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you and she buy the home jointly, then in the event you split up, you could either work something out--one of you buys out the other one; one of you "rents" his/her share to the other (e.g. one gets full use and possession while paying taxes, mortgage, etc.); you both move out and either sell the house or rent it, splitting the proceeds; etc.

If you could not decide on what to do, either of you could go to court for a court order requiring the home to be sold and the proceeds divided.

Alternately, you could in advance decide what would happen (e.g., she has to sell you her share in the home) and draw up an agreement to that effect.

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