Protect Your Investment: Methods for Unmarried Couples to Buy a Home

Buying a home is a huge decision – and a major investment.  “Back in the day,” a couple would only purchase a home after getting legally married, and their joint ownership of the property was relatively clear cut from a legal perspective.

These days, a growing number of home-buying couples are unmarried.  It is important to note that unmarried home buyers are often not afforded the same legal protections as married couples.  However, there are a variety of ways in which an unmarried couple can purchase a home.

For example, a couple could take title in a home by sole ownership (only one partner owns the property), joint tenants with rights of survivorship (property is shared equally and both parties have equal interests in the property), or as tenants in common (each partner has a distinct share). There are many other ways to title property for unmarried couples and not every type is right for every couple.  Each ownership type has its advantages and drawbacks that must be carefully evaluated when buying a new home.

It is important for unmarried couples to make an informed decision on how their home will be titled and to understand how that decision will affect property distribution down the road.

For assistance in evaluating the best way to title your home, whether it’s your first home or your forever home, please contact Ashley R. Hollen at or (812) 423-3183, or contact any member of the KDDK Real Estate Law Practice Team.

About the Author

Ashley Hollen

Ashley R. Hollen (formerly Ashley R. Bess), an attorney at Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, LLP (KDDK), in Evansville, Indiana, practices in the areas of business law, tax and employee benefits law, environmental law, real estate law, contract negotiation and creditors’ rights and collections. Ashley earned her B.S. in political science magna cum laude from the University of Evansville, and her J.D. magna cum laude from Valparaiso University School of Law.

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