Arguments over who gets the house have delayed the finalization of many divorces. After children and pets, homes evoke the most emotion in divorcing couples, and fights over who gets to keep the house after a divorce can get downright irrational.
It’s important to realize that there are many options available to settle the issue of ownership of the marital home after a divorce. The parties can agree to sell it and split the proceeds, or one spouse may decide to stay in the home. When the latter happens, the spouse who doesn’t get the house isn’t out of luck ― instead, a legal device called a quitclaim deed is drawn up to equalize the marital settlement.
A quitclaim deed can be used to transfer the marital home to one of the spouses during a divorce. Quitclaim deeds allow spouses to convey their interest in the marital home to their other spouse. For example, suppose a husband wants to move out of the marital home to move downtown closer to his work. He can convey his interest in the marital home to his wife by using a quitclaim deed. The wife can then refinance the mortgage on the home to remove her husband’s name and obligation on the mortgage. The wife gives her husband a check for his half of the home’s value or other assets amounting to the same value.
If refinancing the home is not possible because the spouse receiving the house doesn’t qualify for a loan or if there is not enough equity in the home, the quitclaim deed can be held in escrow until refinancing occurs at a later date.
Quitclaim deeds can be just the solution spouses are looking for to solve the age-old question of who gets the house postdivorce. Our experience at The Quitmeier Law Firm can help you through your divorce and help you obtain a fair property settlement whether you keep the house or not. Contact us.