Navigating Quitclaim Deeds in Divorce or Separation Proceedings

Mar 30, 2023 | Holding Title, Real Estate Title

Even the simplest of divorces can run into issues when it comes to the division of assets. For many couples in the midst of a divorce, their house is the most valuable thing they own. Once they settle on the division of assets, there is still the matter of making property ownership official. At that point, you might need to know more about quitclaim deeds in divorce or separation.

A quitclaim deed is one of the easiest ways to transfer a property’s title. With this type of deed, an owner renounces their claim to a property and gives it to someone else. However, there are no guarantees with a quitclaim deed. The recipient is accepting the property and its title in its current condition.

This post will cover how the parties to a divorce may use quitclaim deeds.

The Function of Quitclaim Deeds in Divorce or Separation Proceedings

The Division of Marital Property

Before you can think about using a quitclaim deed, you need to consider the division of property. In the simplest of cases, the parties agree, and one person takes ownership of the home. Other situations might be more contentious. It could even result in the need to sell the property so the parties can split the proceeds.

It is common for one party to take ownership either through an agreement or by court order. Some divorces might also result in one person paying the other for their interest in the home. However, there needs to be an official transfer of ownership to one party. A quitclaim deed can be an instrument that achieves that official result.

The Effect of a Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed in divorce transfers the interest from one party to the other. They owned it jointly when married, and the quitclaim deed makes the sole ownership of one party official. With sole ownership, the remaining spouse shall have full property rights. They can sell, mortgage, or alter the property without needing consent from their former spouse.

Impact on Mortgages

It is not uncommon for this process to occur with a home that still has a mortgage. This fact may lead many to wonder what happens to the debt. For a divorce, the transfer of ownership and the payment of debt are two separate issues. It can go several ways.

The person taking ownership might be responsible for the debt on their own. There are also cases where one party takes ownership, but the other is responsible for paying the mortgage. It is also common for the parties to split the costs. The parties will sort this issue out during the divorce proceedings.

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