If my fiance left me, do I have any rights to the home that we purchased but is only in his name?

My fiance recently left me for someone else. He purchased a fixer upper house shortly after we were engaged. I put all of my money into this house and did most of the labor even though my name isn’t on it. Do I have any legal rights or do I just walk away?

Asked on September 18, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I assume to not only being left off of the title, you do not have an agreement regarding ownership of the house, such as an interest in exchange for the money/labor that you put in or at least reimbusement for it. That being the case, you unforunatelt have no rights int his case. had you been married instead of just engaged things would be different.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you are not on the title and did not have some contract or agreement with him that in exchange for the money and labor you put in, you'd get some share or interest in the house, or be entitled to repayment if ceased living there, or would get a share of the proceeds when the house is sold, etc., you have no rights. "Fiance" is not a legally recognized relationship (and so does not entitle you to anything, unlike being married, where you would have rights), and you *could* have insisted on going on the title or getting some contractual protection; since you did not do so, the law will not give you protection that you declined to seek.


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