Property Rights When Unmarried

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“I have lived with a man for a year, and have contributed a lot to the household. I quit my job because he wanted me to, so that I could stay at home with my 3 children and his 2. My question is, can I take anything when I leave without getting into trouble? The house is in his name only, but we have gotten a lot of material things that I wish to take with me.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Because you are not married, for the most part whatever he bought with his money is his, and whatever you bought with your money is yours. So you can take what you bought, but if it’s anything which he is likely to protest, or anything with a high value (such as appliances, or electronics), be prepared to be able to produce receipts or to otherwise be able to prove that you purchased it and that it belongs to you.



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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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