Using a Quit Claim Deed in Divorce
A quit claim deed, when used in divorce, helps you to transfer joint ownership into sole ownership of a piece of property. The person awarded the property in the divorce will receive sole ownership. There are a couple ways of doing this:
- Order a sale of the property and divide the proceeds between parties, or
- Directly award the property to either spouse, via a settlement agreement or court order
If one party will keep the property, the quit claim deed removes the other party’s name from its title. If you go through a legal separation, you can also use the quit claim deed in the separation case.
This is an important tool because both parties who hold title to the property must agree to sell, will or mortgage the property, otherwise there’s essentially a stalemate that occurs. The person who receives the property in divorce via the quit claim deed can then do what they wish to do with the property without having to seek the approval of the other party.
This will most commonly be used for real estate, but there are also other valuable types of property that might have multiple people’s names on the titles, in which case the quit claim deed can come in handy.
However, often times, the party retaining title must remove the other party from the existing mortgage. Thus, the party receiving the property will have to refinance the existing mortgage.
It is important that the party transferring title does not have any judgments or liens. You may need to consider if you want to run a judgment and lien search to insure that there are no liens on the property. A lien will reduce the equity that you are awarded.
If you’re interested in learning more about how the quit claim can be used in your divorce to more efficiently divide property and grant one person sole ownership rights, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP with any questions you have.