How To Remove Your Ex-Spouse’s Name From A Property Deed With A Quit Claim

If you are getting a divorce and acquired the house, you will need to remove your spouse's name from the title. This is often done using a quit claim deed, which means the ex-spouse forfeits all right to the property. The spouse who retains ownership, or grantor, commonly pays the grantee a valuable consideration in exchange for forfeiting their rights to the property. Here are some tips for removing spouses from house titles with quit claim deeds.

Decide on a Valuable Consideration and Prepare the Form

You and your ex-spouse should decide a fair amount for the valuable consideration. A valuable consideration doesn't have to be monetary, but it needs to be of value.

You will need a quit claim deed form, and a Preliminary Change of Ownership form from an online source, an attorney, or the county recorder office. On the form, fill the amount of the valuable consideration, names of parties, date, and a legal description of the property, in case anyone wants to investigate legality of ownership. Give a reason for the quit claim, such as the property is getting transferred as part of a divorce agreement.

You may be able to get the legal description of your residence from the house deed. If you can't find a legal description, hire a land surveyor to get measurements of the property, and to provide you with a new description.  Fill out the Preliminary Change of Ownership form. The Preliminary Change of Ownership form asks questions about the property and is used to figure transferal taxes.

Sign the Quit Claim in Front of a Notary

The grantor must sign the quit claim form and Preliminary Change of Ownership form in front of a notary, who verifies the grantor's identity. In most cases, only the grantor's signature is required, but check local state laws to find out if you need the grantee or witness signatures. A grantor's signature finalizes the claim, and they won't be upheld unless the grantor signs them.

Record the Claim

Check the form to verify names and addresses are correct before you record the quit claim. Record your quit claim at the recorder's office to ensure you don't forfeit your interest or claim. You usually have to pay a small fee, which is commonly based on the number of pages. If you detect an error in the form after recording, fill out and submit another form with the corrections.

Keep a copy of the quit claim for your records, and give your ex-spouse a copy. Quit claims are ideal for transferal of properties in divorce. If you have questions, contact a real estate attorney or click here for info on real estate law.