These days, many individuals interested in purchasing real estate find that they have to co-own their home with someone else, whether that person is a spouse, family member, business partner, or friend.

But what happens when a dispute arises and the two co-owning parties have to go their separate ways? Can one party evict the other? And what if the co-ownership of the property involves a business dispute?

Ownership Contract Governs

When circumstances like these arise, you need to discuss your options with an experienced real estate attorney in order to ensure that your rights are protected. The first step is understanding how you and the other co-owner own title to the property. If you and the other co-owner are unable to manage the property as co-owners, one owner can buyout the other owner’s interest, although all of this depends upon how the property was purchased and/or titled. While some co-owners may have purchased the property together, in other instances, one owner may have been placed on the title for estate planning purposes, etc. All of this affects the specific circumstances under which two co-owners can go their separate ways while preserving their ownership interests and rights.

The Law in Alabama

In Alabama, people can share title to property as tenants in common or joint tenants. When people speak of “the right of survivorship,” they are referring to what happens to the shares of a deceased co-owner in terms of distribution of those shares amongst the surviving owners (without those shares/that property first having to go through probate). However, in Alabama, joint tenancy operates more like a tenancy in common (unless the deed clear states the intent for survivorship). Overall, it is crucial that owners maintain a clear chain of title so as to simplify any issues in the future that may arise.

An Attorney Can Help

If you were placed on the title by the other owner, you may not have financially invested enough into the property to be on the same level as two people who are joint tenants with right of survivorship on the title to the home. Your attorney can sit down with you and help you figure out what is best for you and your living situation, the relationship with the other co-owner in moving forward, your finances, and any other particular circumstances involved in your situation.

The experienced attorneys of Cloud Willis & Ellis practice in business, real estate, and estate planning. We can represent you and your interests in any complex real estate, commercial litigation, business and/or title disputes, estate planning, and/or related issue. Cloud Willis & Ellis will provide you with counsel and guidance, and help maximize your quality of life and asset protection. Our attorneys will vigorously defend you and your wishes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.