Saint Johns, MI asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Michigan

Q: Bought a house with my boyfriend and going to break up with him. Can I get his name off the house?

My boyfriend and I have been together for 9 years. We recently purchased a home together. As we were not married, I first asked to just put my name on the house, but he and his family talked me into having us sign the papers together. Only my name is on the mortgage as my boyfriend does not have any credit. He does not have a job and has no income currently. We figured out the purchase of the home based only on my income because of this. We split the down payment for the house at purchase. I am planning to talk to him soon about the break up and I would like to be able to keep the home. What are the possible outcomes? What are the steps I need to take to make sure I can stay in my home?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Possible outcomes?

1) he agrees and let’s you have the house and signs off

2) he wants his money back (or more) and you agree to pay him and keep the house and he signs off.

3) he wants his money back and you don’t agree and there’s a lawsuit over the house

4) he doesn’t agree to anything and there’s a lawsuit.

5) some combination of the above.

You need to hire a local attorney NOW to help sort out your options and move forward. This CAN be done amicably but it takes careful planning and structure.

— this answer is offered for information only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. Please seek local legal representation.

Brent T. Geers agrees with this answer

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: There's no easy way to part ways when you own a house together. Best case scenario is similar to what's done in a divorce: you figure out the equity in the house, split that, and pay him his half in exchange for him signing a quit claim deed to you so that you own the house outright. If you recently bought it, there probably isn't much equity to split. This can either be done amicably outside of court, or you might need to file a complaint to partition the house in court. Either way, a similar result will happen.

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