Sometimes divorcing spouses agree to sell their marital home and divide the equity, but this isn’t always the case. If there’s one thing most couples fight over more than child custody in a divorce, it’s real estate ownership. This is because real estate might be the most significant asset a married couple jointly owns, and one whose value could appreciate over time.
Let’s suppose you lost your home in your divorce. You’re given a document called a quitclaim deed, but you aren’t exactly sure what happens when you sign.
What Is a Quitclaim Deed?
A quitclaim deed is a little bit what it sounds like: It’s your voluntary relinquishment of property ownership, so you can think of it in terms of literally quitting your claim to your marital home.
By signing a quitclaim deed, you are agreeing to transfer your equity and ownership interest in the property without any strings attached. Effectively, you’ve legally given your ex-spouse complete ownership of the house.
Keep in mind that signing a quitclaim deed is often part and parcel to your divorce settlement. If the judge has awarded your spouse the home, signing the quitclaim deed isn’t optional.
Does a Quitclaim Deed affect My Mortgage?
You might not realize it, but your home ownership and your responsibility for a mortgage – or liens, for that matter – are mutually exclusive.
In other words, signing a quitclaim deed doesn’t necessarily remove your liability for the mortgage. This means you’ll still have to make monthly mortgage payments because only your ownership of the property transferred, not your liability for the loan.
There are legal remedies that can help those who sign quitclaim deeds when it comes to removing their responsibility for the mortgage, but only an experienced divorce attorney is qualified to comment on your unique situation.
If you require legal assistance, reach out to our team of attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLP for help. Contact us online to learn more today.