Houston, TX asked in Real Estate Law for Texas

Q: Bought a house together, not married, what rights do I have?

I have 3 kids with someone I was with for 10 years. We are no longer together but we still live together in a home we both purchased. Our names are on the house but we are not married. I started going to school and working on my debt. I want to have everything settled before I move out. With me going to school full time I told him I wouldn't be able to help him with the bills.

So now he uses that against me saying its not my house bc I dont contribute to anything. Yet I still pay his phone bill, I pay the home depot account that he left me with at $6k, and I pay everything for my kids, babysitting, clothes, etc. He now wants to refinance the house without my name on it bc I don't pay bills. I am fine with doing that, but now I'm having second thoughts bc I feel he will try to kick me out as soon as my name is dropped.

What rights do I have since we are not married? I want my name off the house so I can get a house when I move out, but not til then.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Your rights are determined by the deed, not the financing. If both your names are on the deed, you own a 50% interest in the house, whether you pay any bills or not, and regardless of whose name is on the financing.

That being said, if the mortgage doesn't get paid, the mortgage company gets to foreclose. For this reason, if he refinances, the mortgage company will insist that you sign the Deed of Trust (this is the lien, and should not be confused with the Deed, which is the title). The mortgage company is protecting themselves to make sure that they will have a right to foreclose on the Whole house, not just his part of it.

If you want your name completely off of the house, I suggest he buy you out, and then refinance on his own. But at that point, he can definitely kick you out if he wants to.

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