Quitclaim deeds have various uses, but one of the uses stands out the most – the use of quitclaims in dealing with property division during divorce.
In legal separation or divorces, a quitclaim deed is used to fulfill the property division requirement.
Titles and real property
The effects of a quitclaim on your divorce or legal separation are significant, and their understanding helps when dealing with different types of property ownership.
One of the forms of property ownership affected by the quitclaim is joint ownership. The joint property ownership can be a tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or tenancy by the entirety.
Joint property ownership
Joint tenancy – this is where couples own property together. In this arrangement, when one spouse passes, the property goes to the surviving spouse. It is not, however, limited to spouses.
Tenancy in common – in this arrangement, you have two or more people owning property. If one of the owners passes on, their interests in the property are transferred to the heirs and not the other owners.
Tenancy by the entirety – this property ownership works like a joint tenancy, but it’s only applicable to spouses. Note that it’s not used in every state.
Married couples often hold property in joint tenancies or tenancy by the entirety. Few couples hold property under tenancy in common.
How to use a quitclaim in a divorce
In divorce proceedings, quitclaims are used to change a property’s ownership from joint ownership to sole ownership. The deed allows one spouse to quit their claim on the property making the other spouse the sole owner of the property. Simply put, the quitclaim transfers title to the spouse awarded the property.
Essentially, the division of property between couples involves either:
The sale of the property and the division of the proceeds between the parties involved, or
Awarding of the property to one of the spouses following an agreement between the parties or an order from the court.
In the transfer of property to one party, the quitclaim is used to remove the name of the person who quits their claim in the property from the property title.
If your state allows legal separation, you could also use the quitclaim to divide property and divide ownership.
Following the transfer of title ownership using a quitclaim, the party that receives sole ownership rights to the property can sell or even mortgage that property without asking for consent from their ex-spouse.
Effects of a quitclaim on mortgage
Note, however, that if at the time of the divorce/ separation the property you quitclaim has mortgage debt, your name will remain on the mortgage even if you no longer own it. In most cases, you’ll be obligated on that mortgage.
In other cases, however, the debt might be dealt with differently. For example, the party awarded the property might have to pay the debt and associated expenses, or one party gets the property, and the other pays the mortgage debt and associated balances. Debt and expenses could also be shared. The determining factor is who gets primary physical custody of the children during the separation. You may download the Florida quitclaim deed form, Texas quitclaim or any other US state legal forms here at https://forms.legal/