Not married but boyfriend wants cash payout.

I have a complicated issue. My boyfriend and I have been together for 14 years and I’m looking for a way out of the relationship as he has become an alcoholic, which is a deal-breaker for me. We aren’t married nor are we domestic partners. However, he is saying that the only way I could kick him out of the house is if I give him a cash settlement of 75K. He has done a lot of remodeling on the house and has covered the utility bills, food and some miscellaneous expenses. I make more money than he does and he is terrible with money so he has no savings. I own the house, pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance. In addition, I have given him a car, my father’s tools and paid the majority of expenses when we occasional take a vacation. I also let his son live with us for several years and let his brother and another friend stay with us as well for a short time. In asking him to leave I would give him some furniture, dishes and other household items. However, I don’t feel he deserves a cash settlement which would come out of my home equity line of credit as I’ve worked so hard to keep my house.

Asked on July 3, 2017 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, he has no entitlement to your house or any money. IF he had done the work and made the contributions you describe and you had not in turn made any payments for or covered any expenses for him, he might have a claim for some compensation in the equivalent fair value of what he has invested in or paid for your house--it's not definite he'd get it, but he'd at least have a plausible case. But you describe a situation where you paid the major expenses, and provided him other economic benefits, too, like free rent for his son or other family members, use of the car and tools, etc. Anything a court could theoretically find him entitled to as a matter of fairness would have to be netted out vs. the benefits and payments on his behalf he has already received. Under the circumstances you describe, it is highly unlikely a court would award him anything were he to sue.
If he won't voluntarily leave, you can bring an action for "ejectment" (eviction for non-tenants) to remove him; since the house is in your name only and he is not a tenant under a lease, he has no right to live there once you want him gone, and you can use an ejectment action to remove him. Such an action can be fairly technical; you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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