Unmarried couple separating/owns home

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Unmarried couple separating/owns home

My girlfriend and I bought a home together earlier this year. I am only one on
mortgage, but we are both on deed. I have recently come to the realization that I
no longer love her, and it can’t be worked out. I love the home and want to keep
it. I don’t want to leave the home in fear that it could be labelled
‘Abandonment’. In NY is it abandonment if I move out temporarily? What is process
for removing her from deed?

Asked on December 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't remove her from the deed against her will: if she is on the deed, she is equally an owner with you, and her rights to the home equal yours. Here are your choices:
1) Buy her out: get her to sign her interest over to you in exchange for some mutually agreeable payment.
2) Decide you are willing to move and get her to buy you out, if she wants to stay.
3) The two of you voluntarily sell the house and split the proceeds.
4) If you and she simply cannot agree on what to do with the home, you (or she) could bring an action for "partition," which is a kind of lawsuit in which a co-owner seeks a court order that the home be sold (and the proceeds divided between the owners) because the owners cannot agree on its disposition. Such an action can be complex--if you need to do this, you are advised to retain an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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