So, You Bought a House with Your Boyfriend

artwork illustration of a house with 2 persons splitting up with a broken heart.

As a millennial, we’ve faced financial challenges different from all those before us. We graduated college with more debt into the harsh job market of the Great Recession and then have had to compete during one of the hottest housing markets ever. So, many of us have had to do things differently.

We’re having children later, getting married later, and maybe buying real estate before getting married. What happens, then, when you buy a property with someone that you’ve decided is not going to be part of your long-term plans, and now you cannot agree on what to do with it?

You’ve fought, you’ve negotiated, and now you just want to move on.

An Introduction to Partition Actions

Family law is for married people, and both joint tenants have to agree to list a house for sale. One of you wants to buy the other’s share, but neither has the financing to make it happen. What are you supposed to do? In situations like these, any title owner of the property can ask a court to force a sale of property using a legal term known as a “partition” action.

Like the name, partition actions traditionally were used to divide the property into “parts” when two or more owners could not agree on how to proceed. Under modern versions of the law, however, a party can “partition” a property by sale when the property is not suitable for division into separate pieces of property the way that a farm may be.

How Does a Partition Work?

When co-owners of a property cannot agree on what to do with a property, any title owner can file a lawsuit seeking partition of the property by asking the court to force a sale of the property.

In these circumstances, the court generally inquires only whether the party asking for a sale is the sole owner and whether the party bringing the lawsuit has named all parties interested in the property.

Next, the Court appoints a partition referee who offers it for sale.

Then, once the property is sold, the Court apportions the proceeds of the sale to the parties according to their respective interests.

Last, the Court may also examine whether one party has contributed more to the property than another party, for example, by paying more of the mortgage or paying more than their share for improvements to the property. If one party has done so, then the court may adjust the proceeds that rightfully belong to the other party in accordance with the appropriate share of the contributions.

After all, is said and done, and the house is sold and the proceeds distributed, each party is free to go their own separate way and move on to the next phase of their lives.

Go here to get more details.

Contact Information