What are my rights to a home purchased with my boyfriend?

UPDATED: May 2, 2011

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What are my rights to a home purchased with my boyfriend?

My boyfriend and I bought a home together and lived there together for 4 years. I paid the mortgage but my name is not on the house. Both of our checks were directly deposited into our joint checking account. He had an affair and made me leave. What am I entitled to being that I paid jointly for the mortgage?

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult with a real estate attorney. You *may* be able to establish some rights in the home, if you can show that the intention was that you and he had bought the home together and that you would have an ownership interest in it; however, be aware that you face an uphill battle:

1) The presumption is that the home belongs to whomever is on the title; it is possible to pay the mortgage WITHOUT owning the home, such as if a parent pays a child's mortgage for him or her.

2) It is possible that the boyfriend may claim that you were paying the mortgage as your "rent" for being able to live there (i.e. instead of writing him a separate rent check, you sent a check to the bank); this is certainly plausible and if he could establish it, you would not have an ownership interest.

3) If it can can be shown that your payments were gifts to your boyfriend, then you would not get anything for them.

In the future, *always* have a written agreement spelling out the terms and what you get; and for real estate, preferably be on the title.

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.

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