If my now ex-fiance and I bought a cabin 2 years ago and he paid cash for the cabin but both our names are on the title, do I have any rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my now ex-fiance and I bought a cabin 2 years ago and he paid cash for the cabin but both our names are on the title, do I have any rights?

We are in our 60’s and intended to use the cabin as a summer/fall retreat for the rest of our lives. We chose a certain area because I had been going there throughout my childhood and adult life, and started bringing my son there when he was an infant. It is the place I consider home and still have many connections there, and of course, countless memories. I found the cabin, made the offer and worked closely with the realtor. We purchased it just over 1 1/2 years ago. My ex-fiance and I worked around the clock on the cabin for months after we bought it and returned the following summer and fall and did the same. We both bought supplies and materials, and we both paid laborers for their time. My ex, however, paid for most of the renovations. Anyway, we split up in October of last year and now my ex wants my name off the title but said that I could use it whenever I wanted to. There are too many painful memories there for me, so I am not interested in spending time there. I’m also not interested in taking my name off the title. I countered with a suggestion that we sell it. I thought he could recoup the purchase price as well as what he spent on the renovations, and cover the realtor’s fee and I would get whatever the profit is or at least receive a percentage. He’s thinking about it but I’m wondering if I actually own 50% of the

cabin and entitled to 50% of the sale price. I do believe he should also recoup what he spent on the renovations. If we keep the cabin, what are my rights? Also, can he legally take me off the title?

Asked on March 22, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) He can't force you off the title; you are an owner the same as him, and one owner cannot remove the other.
2) If you sell the property (see below) and cannot agree on who gets how much and the matter ended up in court for a resolution, the court would most likely give him more of the proceeds to reflect and compensate him for the fact that he paid cash and for more of the renovations. Courts tty to do "equity," or fairness, in deciding matters like this, and having put more money in than you (and you both having put in time/effort), fair would be to compensate him for that investment. So a court would most likely first have the costs of sale paid; then reimburse him for the surplus of costs he paid; then split the remainder (if any) 50-50 between the two of you. Use this as a guide in negotiating, to see what might be fair.
3) If you and he can't work it out voluntarily (e.g. with him buying you out), either of you could bring a legal action (lawsuit) traditionally called an action "for partition" to get a court order requiring the property's sale.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption