What effect will my boyfriend’s changing his address to my house have on his legal standing as far as house ownership and other rights should we be break-up?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

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What effect will my boyfriend’s changing his address to my house have on his legal standing as far as house ownership and other rights should we be break-up?

My boyfriend is temporarily living with me at my place (own) I have just learned he had changed his legal address to mine (banks, credit cards, ID). How will this effect his claims and/or standings if we break-up? I am a well established proffesional while he has no financial standing. Should I have him sign an agreement settling all financial issues? Should I have him change his legal address?

Asked on August 30, 2011 California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Using any home or other residence as a legal or mailing address has NO effect on the rights to that property--for example, every renter uses his or her rental property as the legal address, but doing so does not give that person any ownership interest or other right to the property. So house ownership is not affected.

However, where you could have problems is that while you are not legally liable for his debts, if he uses your address as his own, creditors might, in good faith, assume that you are reponsible, too--for example, if he buys furniture, they could assume it was a joint purchase with you. Be prepared that if he gets into financial or debt trouble, you may have to prove it does not involve you.

If he is expected to contribute anything (e.g. some rent; utilities; etc.) get that in writing, as a lease--and then if he doens't, you can evict him, if need be, for his failure to do so.

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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