Free Delaware Quitclaim Deed Form

How to Remove Your Ex-Spouse from a Quitclaim Deed in Delaware

Going through a divorce has to be one of the hardest things for anyone to go through psychologically, emotionally, and draining. Unfortunately, it is often one of the sober ways of marriage dissolution when nothing else seems to work. Of the many areas of divorce, the division of marital property is the hardest hence the need for the right legal instruments to smoothen the process. One of the best legal tools to use when planning to change a property title to exclude the name of your ex-spouse is a quitclaim deed. The use of this document is pertinent because one of the many uses of the quitclaim deed is the removal of an ex-spouse from your property deed as one of the parties with interests in real property. But, do you know how to go about this, especially now that emotions are running high?

In this article, we’ll look at the entire process, as well as the other uses of the quitclaim deed. But first…

What is a quitclaim deed?

Also a quitclaim, a quitclaim deed form, or a non-warranty deed, the quitclaim deed in Delaware refers to the legal instrument stating that one person (the grantor) is quitting or giving up their rights/ interests in real property. To the person receiving the interests in property, the deed will, unfortunately, provide a limited level of protection. The little protection provided comes from the fact that the deed has no warranties on title. It is for this reason that this document is recommended for use between family members and individuals who’ve established trust in one another.

Given the limited level of protection offered by the quitclaim, the document is referred to as a non-warranty deed. This also means that in the event of title issues, the grantee will be out of luck and possibly lose the interests they’d received on the property.

Before we look at how to use the quitclaim to remove the details of your ex-spouse from the deed, here are the basic requirements of the deed.

The Requirements of the quitclaim

First, you need to download a free Delaware quitclaim deed form online. Get the printable version and also make sure that your template is state-specific. You also need to make sure that the deed uses all the correct terms for its legality.

  • The basic requirements include:

    • The document should have the term ‘quitclaim’ used in place of the words ‘Convey’ and ‘Grant’ because the quitclaim does not offer warranties on the title.’

    • The names and the addresses of the grantor and the grantee

    • Details of how the grantee wishes to hold the property/ their vesting choice

    • Full details of the property to be conveyed

    • The deed’s execution date

    • Signature of the grantor

    • Witness’s signature. The witness must be an independent party and maybe the notary public.

    • Acknowledgment by the notary public or any other officer of the law

    • And if the named property is already in the public records, the details of the prior transfer should be provided. These details will outline how the grantor gained the ownership of the rights they are transferring.

    • The deed must be recorded as per the requirements of Delaware’s statutory provision C. 9605. The format of recording should be adhered to and the record accompanied by the tax forms and other accompanying documents. The deed should be accompanied by a signed affidavit showing residence and gain.

You should also know that this state follows the ‘race’ recording statute which provides that if there are multiple conveyances for one piece of property (from one grantor to many grantees), the first deed that was submitted to the public records will prevail over the other deeds, regardless of the date of their execution/ signing.

Also, there is no statute of limitations on when the deed should be recorded so; you need to record your deed as soon as possible.

Now that you’ve done everything to make your quitclaim deed legal, how do you remove an ex-spouse when they are named as owners to interests on a property?

Removing spouse from the quitclaim

During the divorce proceedings, the court will, as a part of the divorce proceedings, issue a judgment order or a divorce decree which will divide your marital assets. In the decree, either spouse gets specific property awarded to them. The decree will not, however, transfer property to or from an ex-spouse. So, it is up to you two to divide property as decreed. Now, if after the decree you need to transfer property, you’ll have to use the quitclaim deed. Doing this soon after the court’s decree will prevent issues later, like an ex selling property when they learn that their ex is still named as an owner in the title.

  • The steps for the removal of their name are as follows:

    • Review the terms of your divorce decree to determine who gets that real property

    • Get a copy of the prior quitclaim to that property

    • Create a new deed to facilitate the transfer of rights for the property

    • Submit your new deed to the county or town land records for the recording of the new deed

    • Keep your copy of the newly recorded deed for proof of ownership.

Other uses of the quitclaim

  • Besides removing your ex-spouse’s name, you could also use the document to:

    • You could use it to clear the cloud or defect on an older title

    • Transferring property rights to children or loved ones

    • Transferring interests in property to a living trust or a trust

    • Gifting a loved on interests in real property if this recipient is not giving you any form of consideration for the interests.

Are you ready to create and record your quitclaim for rental lease property in Newark, Dover, Wilmington, New Castle, Lewes, or any other city in Delaware? Download our free quitclaim form here today to get started.