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UNMARRIED COUPLES PURCHASING REAL ESTATE TOGETHER

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR THOSE COUPLES WHO ARE NOT MARRIED BUT ARE PURCHASING REAL ESTATE TOGETHER:

 

  • ILLINOIS DOES NOT RECOGNIZE COMMON LAW MARRIAGE.  Common law marriage is not recognized in the State of Illinois, therefore if you have been living together but are unmarried, you cannot apply for a mortgage as a married couple or take ownership of the property as a married couple.
  • WHOSE NAME WILL BE ON THE MORTGAGE?  Will both your names be on the mortgage? If so, will you agree to joint and several liability, which would allow a lender to come after one or both of you for the entire mortgage amount in the event of a default?  In the event of a break-up of your relationship, will you be responsible for the entire mortgage if your partners is estranged from you and backs out on the payments?
  • DOWN PAYMENT:
    • Who is providing the money for the down payment?
    • Will each of you pay equally toward the down payment? 
  • WHO WILL BE THE LEGAL OWNERS OF THE PROPERTY?  WILL YOU OWN EQUAL PERCENTAGES?
    • If only one of you is providing the down payment, or there will be unequal contributions by the two of you toward the down payment, then consider whether the one who gives the greater down payment will also be given a greater percentage of interest of ownership in the property;
    • Will the down payment be paid by one of your family members, such as parents of one or both of you? Will that down payment be a gift or a loan?  Will the gift or a loan of the down payment be to only one or both of you?   Will that family member request that you sign a Promissory Note to repay the loan and have a private mortgage recorded?  Or will that famlily member request to have their name added as part owner to the property?
  • WHAT IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP BREAKS UP?
    • What will happen to the property if your relationship fails and you break up?  Who will live at the property?  Will you both move out and decide to sell it?  Will you divide the proceeds evenly?  Will one of you retain ownership and buy out the other person’s share? How will the property be divided?  Who will continue to pay the mortgage and other related bills? 
  • WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE TO MAKE THE PAYMENTS?
    • Do you want the payments towards the obligations of the real estate property to be paid for equally by the two of you from your separate incomes?  What will happen if one of you stops paying or pays less than was originally agreed toward the mortgage, property taxes, assessments, homeowners’ insurance, utilities and/or repairs & maintenance fees related to the real estate?
  • WHAT IF ONE OR BOTH OF YOU PASSES AWAY?  
    • What will happen to the property if one of you or both of you die?
    • Do you want the survivor of the two of you to automatically own the other’s share? 
    • Or do you want your ownership share of the real estate to pass to your family at the time of your death?
  • CONSIDER HAVING OUR OAK BROOK REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS DRAFT A LEGAL AGREEMENT FOR YOU TO SPELL OUT THE TERMS OF YOUR REAL ESTATE PURCHASE AS AN UNMARRIED COUPLE.  Contact us today.

 

Read about the legal services that the Illinois real estate attorneys at The Law Offices of Hoy & Sahlas, LLC. can provide to you if you are buying real estate in Illinois.  Hire us by calling (630) 575-0400 or by filling out our form online.

 

* Disclaimer: This is intended to be a general guideline and is not a comprehensive explanation.  Do not rely solely on this information. If you have questions about the application of the law in a particular case, consult a lawyer. The law is constantly changing. Information on this site or any site to which we link does not constitute legal advice.