If you are at your wit’s end with your unhappy marriage but in no position to afford an expensive divorce, you are in the same boat as many other couples in Alabama and throughout the United States. You might have been researching do-it-yourself divorce and reached the conclusion that, if you and your spouse own real estate, you do not qualify for any of the fast and inexpensive paths to divorce. In fact, it is possible to have an uncontested divorce without hiring divorce lawyers even if dividing your marital property would require dissolving your joint ownership of the marital home. By signing a quitclaim deed, you can make it official that the house belongs to only one of you henceforward. Quitclaim deeds are not a catch-all solution, though. To find out if a quitclaim deed is appropriate in your divorce case, contact an Alabama real estate lawyer.
How a Quitclaim Deed Can Help You Divide Your Marital Residence
A quitclaim deed is a signed declaration stating that you, the grantor, forfeit any ownership interest in the property. By signing the quitclaim deed, you are signing over your ownership interest to the recipient, in this case your spouse. If you have already decided, before you file for divorce, how you will divide your marital property, a quitclaim deed might be just what you need. For some couples it is as simple as deciding that it is fair for Mom to keep the house because Dad has a higher income and can easily be approved for a mortgage loan to buy a new house. If the marital home is the only truly valuable item you own, then the spouse who keeps the house may have to pay the other spouse cash, as a lump sum or installments, to buy the other spouse out of his or her share.
The Trouble with Quitclaim Deeds
It is easy to mix up quitclaim deeds and quiet title actions, because they both start with Q and relate to real estate law. A quitclaim deed means that the property does not belong to your ex-spouse after the date of signing. It does not, however, certify that your ex legally owned the property before the date of the quitclaim deed. If you are not sure that your ex-spouse ever legally owned the house, then you will need to do a quiet title action. You might also need a quiet title action if you are not sure if the person who possessed the house before your spouse legally owned it. This situation most often arises in cases where the ex-spouse received the house as a gift or inheritance from a family member. Unlike a quitclaim deed, a quiet title action needs a judge’s approval in order to become legally valid.
Contact Us Today for Help
Unless you know the full story about the property, a quitclaim deed can create more problems than it solves, and you might need an Alabama real estate lawyer. Contact Cloud Willis & Ellis for help today.