My Partner And I Are Splitting Up…Can I Buy Him/Her Out Of The Home We Own Together?

You may buy your partner out of the home that you own together if he or she agrees to sell it to you. A problem arises when you both want the home or your partner does not want to sell his or her interest to you and you do not have a written agreement setting out how this situation will be dealt with.

Gay Separation and Real EstateYour options are to work out an agreement with your partner or follow your state’s legal procedures and ask the court to order the home sold. An agreement is generally cheaper because you avoid the costs associated with selling a home on the open market. If you cannot come to an agreement, you may want to consider hiring a mediation service. A mediator is trained to resolve disputes and will develop a solution that takes into consideration both of your thoughts and feelings.

If you cannot come to an agreement and need to resort to the legal system, you must file what is known as a ‘partition’. The home will be ordered sold and the net proceeds split both of you. Net proceeds are the funds available after paying the mortgage, any liens and the cost of the sale. Before forcing the sale, the judge has the option of permitting one of the co-owners to purchase the other’s interest in the home at fair market value.

Fair market value is found by comparing the amount that other similar homes are selling for in the local market and the age, location and condition of the home. The result should be in the range of what a buyer would be willing to pay to the seller for the home in its current condition. A real estate appraiser that is familiar with your local market should be hired to find the fair market value of your home.

According to Nolo Law for All, most states presume that the individual’s interest in the home is 50 percent each if both names are on the deed. A dispute may arise if one party feels that he or she is entitled to a larger share of the home due to contributions of either significant extra money or labor. If this conflict arises, you can try to reach a fair settlement agreement. One method is to total the amount of down payment, mortgage payments, improvements and labor each has contributed and then compare the figures to come up with the percentage each owns in the home. If you cannot agree on a percentage, you may want to hire a mediator to help you resolve the issue.

Transferring ownership of a home involves deeds, taxes, filing fees and other costs that must be taken into consideration. It would be wise to consult a real estate broker or an attorney to find out what your state’s requirements are and to assist you with the transfer or sale of the home.

Dear Gay Realtor, If My Partner Dies, Can His Family Kick Me Out Of His House?

If no legal precautions were taken before his/her death to secure your right to live in the house then his family may have the authority to kick you out. It will depend on issues including who will be inheriting the property through intestate laws or a will. Family members who have no right to the home cannot kick you out. According to, if you and your partner were married and live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages, you may have other legal options available to avoid being kicked out of your partner’s home.

Dear Gay RealtorInheritance laws vary by state and include many conditions. Generally, in the absence of minor children, most state’s intestate laws dictate that the legal spouse, or in some states the registered domestic partner, inherits everything or a portion of the estate. In that case, you may have a legal right to go to court and retain some or all rights to the home.

Partners who are not included in a will, did not take legal precautions and were not married or registered partners inherit nothing. In that case, eviction laws come into play. According to Findlaw, most states have laws that give a person the legal right to live in a home when he or she has been cohabitating with the deceased person for a certain period of time, generally months. In that case, the individual(s) who inherit the property are required to go through an eviction process in a court of law. It generally takes a minimum of 30 days to evict someone.

Legal Precautions You and Your Partner Can Take to Protect Each Other:

Drafting a simple will allows partners to dictate what happens to their estate upon their death. A partner may leave everything he or she owns to the partner, including a home deeded in his or her name, or only a portion of the estate assets. If you and your partner are married but live in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages or are not married in any state, the surviving partner may have to pay hefty estate taxes.

Add your partners name to the deed. There are several choices in this category. Tenancy in common is shared ownership of the property. You may still be required to move out after your partner dies unless you can pay the value of the partner’s share to the person who inherits. Joint tenancy creates a right or survivorship. When one of the partners dies, the surviving partner gets sole ownership of the home.

The laws surrounding estate planning and intestate distribution are complicated. If you are in a partnership, it would be wise to consult with a lawyer who specializes in same sex estate planning.

Make sure your legal rights are understood and protected ~ entrust the services of a top gay realtor at