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My partner and her ex-husband owned the house we currently live in for
approximately 6 years before they divorced. Upon divorce, he wanted no part of the house, however his name had to be taken off the deed. In turn, my partner and I took out a mortgage with both our names on the loan. My does she get more of the equity if we sell since she has been there longer? Secondly, she took out a home equity line of credit just in her name in order to pay for windows, which we both agreed on. However, since the purchase of the windows, she has taken 5k out of home equity LOC to pay one of her personal credit cards. Am I responsible for this debt as well?
Asked on September 24, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
Your state does not recognize domestic partnerships; either you are married or you are not. If you are not married, if you are not on the deed/title, then you have no right to the home or any value/equity from it, even you are on the mortgage--the mortgage determines who has to pay the loan, but the deed/title determines ownership, and only owners have rights to the property and its equity. As stated, being an unmarried partner carries no weight in your state, so if you signed the loan but were not placed on the deed/title, you have no right to the home, but are, unfortunately, responsible for the loan you signed.
(Exception: if there was a written agreement that in exchange for taking out or paying part of the mortgage, you'd be entitled to a share of the proceeds if/when the home was sold, that contract would be enforceable and you would be entitled to money--not to own the home, but only to money, per the contract, from its sale.)
If you are on the deed/title, if you there are two of you on it, you have equal rights to use, occupy, live in, etc. the home, and will share equally in any proceeds from its sale.