Do I owe my ex-girlfriend compensation for the house after we split up?

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Do I owe my ex-girlfriend compensation for the house after we split up?

I’ve owned the house for 7 years. She paid the mortgage for two and she is on the deed but not on the mortgage. She has left and changed her address and now she wants compensation for the house. Do I owe her anything?

Asked on February 6, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If she is on the deed with you, she is an owner of the house, the same as you--if the two of you are the people on the deed, that makes her a 50% or half owner, for purposes of equity. She is entitled to, roughly speaking, 1/2 the proceeds from the house if and when you sell it--that is, 1/2 the money after the cost of sale and paying off any remaining loan or lien balance(s).
if you won't voluntarily sell the house and split the proceeds, she can bring a legal action or lawsuit (commonly called an action "for partition") to force a sale and the distribution of the proceeds. If you takes you to court on that basis, if you have paid substantially more of the mortgage than her, you *may* be able to convince the judge to, in ordering the sale, also order that you get a larger share of the proceeds, to reflect your greater payments.


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