Couple Breaking Up

Inside the Law: Who gets what when live-in partners split?

May 15, 2018 - 3:00 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A man walked into a police station in Frankfort, Germany because he wanted to break up with his girlfriend but didn't know how. 

You know, because when looking for help with empathy, who doesn't think of the German police force first? 

The police said that they couldn't do the breaking up for him but were happy to advise: "We help everyone" they said. 

Hmm. I wonder if they helped him figure out who will get the joint property. Because when unmarried couples in the U.S. break up, while there's no divorce decree that needs court approval, it's still complicated. Each party keeps his or her own property -- and debt. But if you combined assets and both of your names are on a deed or title, then you're 50/50 owners and must split it. If only one of you is on the deed but you both contributed, you have to negotiate, and if you can't agree, you'll go to court. 

Before you move in, or even during your cohabitation, think about creating a living together agreement that covers property before you're mad enough to say auf wiedersehen.