If I bought a home with a women and now we’re splitting up, what are my rights?

I’m the borrower and she is the co-borrower. Sshe has moved out. I will continue to pay the mortgage without her help. She refuses to return the keys and garage door opener and has state that I have no right to change the locks; can I legally?

Asked on August 22, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the woman that you bought the home with is on title to the property and is also obligated on the home's mortgage (trust deed), as a matter of California law, she has all rights of ownership to this home. Meaning, you cannot legally change the locks to keep her out.

However, if you are servicing the debt load on the property on a monthly basis as well as paying for other items of its upkeep, your "co-owner" is obligated to repay you her ownership percentage's interest in the property of all the property's expenses, including, but not limted to, its mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and repairs.

If you want to buy out her interests in the property, you should consider it assuming she wishes to sell.

Good luck.


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