For many couples, the marital home is a major source of conflict during divorce. They may have to negotiate for weeks before they agree about what is fair regarding possession of the property and division of the equity established in the home.
Sometimes, couples simply can’t reach a settlement, so the Florida family law judge presiding over their divorce must interpret state law and divide the home as is appropriate, along with the other assets a couple jointly owns.
Whether you are the person who will now keep the house or the spouse giving up their ownership rights, it will be crucial that you and your ex execute a quitclaim deed to correct the title on the property.
How a quitclaim deed works
Deeds have different implications. A quitclaim deed is one of the most basic kinds of deeds because it makes no warranty regarding the ownership status of the individual giving up their property rights. Instead, it simply focuses on the transfer of those ownership rights to the person who will now hold title.
Both parties who have previously been on title will likely need to sign the quitclaim deed changing it over to the ownership of just one spouse. In cases where conflict is high, it may be possible for you to sign separately. Executing the deed is a crucial step in implementing the property settlement order from your divorce.
How the quitclaim deed protects you
If you will move out of the marital home and into a new house, you don’t want to be held accountable for your spouse’s bad maintenance or unpaid property taxes. Executing a quitclaim deed in compliance with your settlement agreements will sever that liability. Spouses giving up their right to the property should make certain they already have compensation or a court order allocating equity to them before signing a deed.
If you are the person retaining possession of the home, the quitclaim deed is also important for you. Until your ex signs that document, technically they still have an interest in the property. That can complicate financing, which will likely be a necessary step for moving forward after your divorce.
Making sure you adequately protect yourself when dividing complex assets like real estate is crucial as you navigate your Florida divorce.