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What do you know about quitclaim deeds and divorce?

| Jun 21, 2021 | Property Division |

As part of your divorce agreement, you give up the marital home to your soon-to-be-former spouse. Do you know how to transfer ownership of the property legally?

SFGATE describes how quitclaim deeds work for the property division phase of divorce. Handle this step carefully to start the next chapter of your life on the right foot.

How quitclaim deeds work

By signing a quitclaim deed, you give up your interest in the marital home to your current spouse. If the two of you still have a mortgage to pay off, signing the deed does not let you off the hook for paying the rest of the mortgage. You may no longer own the home, but that does not mean you sign away your liability for the debt. Even if your soon-to-be-ex-partner refinances the house in his or her name only, you still remain liable for the debt.

How transmutation works

Perhaps you bought the marital home before walking down the aisle, which New Jersey courts consider separate property. Maybe you want to give up the home to your current spouse as part of the marriage settlement. You may do so with a quitclaim deed through transmutation, which is taking legal action to turn separate property into marital property. For your divorce, you may need to put in writing that you desire to cede your separate property to the marriage. Besides re-categorizing separate property into marital property, transmutation also shifts marital property into separate property.

Not everyone wants to fight for the house in divorce. Those who want to give up the property must understand how to do so according to the law.