When deciding to buy a house with your significant other, it is very important to have a conversation about more than just the furniture arrangement and what appliances to buy.  Recently I have seen more unmarried couples purchasing real estate than ever before.  Why is this important?

When two married people have jointly purchased a home and a divorce proceeding is initiated, then the Court will determine how to divide the real estate.  The Court is required to legally determine that the marriage has ended and determine how the assets are to be divided.  However, if two unmarried people own a home together and there is a dissolution of the relationship, the Court is not required to legally determine that the relationship has dissolved or how to divide the assets.

Obviously, you would not be buying a house together if you thought you were going to break up; but nobody gets married expecting to get divorced.  In order to protect yourself and your relationship, it is important to have this discussion.  

While it may be an uncomfortable subject, I recommend that you execute a joint agreement in the event of a break up that specifically indicates which person is allowed to stay in the home, how the proceeds are to be divided in a sale of the home, and whether you would buy out the other party’s interest to own the home alone.

Again, while it is not exactly a comfortable discussion to have, it is much better to have it now.

Any questions?  I am available 24-7 at abennette@weclosetheloan.com

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely or act upon any information contained in this article without seeking the advice of qualified legal counsel.

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