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What are the options when an unmarried couple breaks up but owns a home together?
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What are the options when an unmarried couple breaks up but owns a home together?

When an unmarried couple breaks up but owns a home together, dividing the value of the real estate can become an issue. These matters are more clear-cut when a couple is married, but unmarried couples do have options for dividing property that they own together. Likewise, there are options for unmarried couples to create documents that are designed to prevent disputes in the event of a breakup.

One option is a partition action

In Minnesota, a partition action may be brought for a sale or split of the property. It’s important to talk to a lawyer about this before moving forward with a partition action. This may be the most efficient way of splitting the value of the property between the parties, but a partition action must be done properly. An experienced family law and real estate law attorney can advise on the best path forward.

Take preventative measures

No one wants to start a relationship with the assumption that it will end one day. However, business-savvy individuals know that disputes often arise from ambiguities, and a pre-purchase agreement may be the best way to prevent a dispute and provide peace of mind for both parties.

An unmarried couple can work with an attorney to draft a pre-purchase agreement that clarifies how the value of the home will be divided in the event that the relationship ends.

How a lawyer can help

Taking legal action, such as a partition action, or drafting a legally binding document should only ever be done with the help of an experienced attorney. If you want to create a pre-purchase agreement, an attorney can help ensure that the document is sound and enforceable. If you want to bring a partition action, an attorney can draft and file the relevant documents, as well as address any issues that may give rise to a dispute. In any case, be sure to speak with a family law and real estate attorney if you believe your real estate interests may be at stake at the end of a relationship.