Question: Two years ago my boyfriend and I bought a home together in Chandler. Both of our names are on the deed and the mortgage as tenants in common. We are no longer happy living together, and I plan to move into an apartment. My boyfriend wants to continue to live in the home and doesn’t want to sell the home. He says that under the law I am required to continue to pay one-half of the mortgage. Can I require my boyfriend to sell the home now and split the sale proceeds?

Answer: Yes. If you and your boyfriend cannot agree to sell the home, a partition lawsuit can be filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. The judge will appoint a special commissioner, usually a real estate broker who will be paid a sales commission, to sell your home and distribute the sale proceeds to you and your boyfriend, after payment of any sales commission, escrow fees, and other expenses of sale. The distribution of sale proceeds is typically not equal. For example, if you paid $20,000 for the down payment, mortgage payments, and repairs and maintenance of the Chandler home, and your boyfriend only paid $10,000 for those costs, you may be entitled to receive two-thirds of the net sale proceeds and your boyfriend may only be entitled to receive one-third of the net sale proceeds.

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