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Quitclaim Deeds and Divorce

Quitclaim deeds are documents used to transfer the owner's interest (if any) in real property to someone else, with no warranties of title. The transfer may or may not include consideration (something of value, usually money). They are generally used to clear clouded titles, to settle boundary disputes between neighbors, or to make gifts of real property, and include no warranties of title for the new owners. These deeds are also appropriate for situations like divorce, where the idea is simply removing one party's name from a deed, or relinquishing marital rights in real estate.

One specific application of quitclaim deeds is to convey title following a divorce or dissolution. In those cases, the division of property is often determined by a judge, who directs one party to transfer his/her rights in marital real estate to the other. Quitclaim deeds executed for this purpose tend to require some additional information. For example, many localities require a comment referring to the divorce, as well as other items such as the docket or civil action number and recording details of the judicial decree.

In some situations, both spouses appear on the real estate deed, but only one appears on the mortgage. In case of divorce, both spouses may be entitled to the property but only the one named on the mortgage is liable for the debt. Generally, the person keeping the house becomes responsible for paying the mortgage, taxes, and other associated bills. If both spouses were originally named on the deed and the mortgage, however, both are still responsible for making sure the mortgage bills are paid.

To resolve this, the spouse not named on the mortgage might execute a quitclaim deed to the other, giving up any marital rights to the property, but make sure to contact the mortgage company prior to changing the title details. They generally have procedures in place to address this situation. The attorney handling the divorce will probably have advice about it, too.

The names appearing on the quitclaim deed must exactly match those on the original property deed. In case there is a change of name, it should be clearly indicated to avoid issues during transfer. If, for instance, a wife wishes to revert to her maiden name, she should list the new name followed by the previous one with the term fka denoting 'formerly known as.'

To make the deed legal, it must meet all state and local standards of form and content. Record the completed and notarized quitclaim deed in the land records for the county where the property is located.

REMEMBER:
* Depending on the circumstances, some transactions involving quitclaim deeds may be exempt from transfer taxes. Ask the local recorder or assessor, or an attorney, questions about exemptions and the proper way to claim them.
* Executing a quitclaim deed transfers ownership rights in the real estate, but DOES NOT necessarily end the financial obligation associated with a mortgage or other co-owned debts against the property.

Please contact an attorney for more information about using quitclaim deeds, or with any questions related to real property and divorce.

Related Topics: | Divorce | Marital Property | Mortgage | Quit Claim Deed |

November 6, 2017, Deeds.com - Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed, you should always confirm this information with the proper agency prior to acting. The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date.