Quitclaim deeds are often used in divorce, as well as in other cases where the separate parties are well known to each other. A quitclaim deed does not offer the grantee (the person who is gaining interest in real property) any warranty as to the status of the property title. The grantee is entitled only to whatever interest the grantor actually has at the time of possession, which is why this deed is common in cases of divorces when someone is seeking to transfer their interest to their former spouse.
In the case of a divorce, a husband may terminate his interest in the jointly owned marital home, which gives the wife full rights to the property. Literally, he is quitting his claim on the real property in question. There is no warranty on the title, so any risks involved will be handled by the grantee.
If a married person owns property that they bought prior to being married, then sells the property to a third party, and then gets divorced, a quitclaim deed will be helpful and will also offer reassurance. The quitclaim deed ensures that the other spouse no longer has any interest to reclaim the property later on. If a quitclaim deed has not been recorded, the other spouse can legally try to reclaim ownership of the property.
If a wife wants to stay in the married home after a divorce, she should ask her ex-husband to sign a quitclaim deed. This form allows her to claim sole interest in the residential property. In the case of divorced couples, the deed should show the husband and wife’s legal names (or the same names that appear in their divorce decree).
A quitclaim deed will be helpful in a divorce, but it will not release the person quitting his/her claim from any mortgage obligations. The quitclaim deed only transfers title—not ownership. To remove the person who is filing the quitclaim deed from the mortgage, the mortgage has to be refinanced by the grantee (the person staying in the home and to whom the interest has been transferred). Basically, a quitclaim deed is the first step, and refinancing the mortgage is the second step.
This article was written by deeds.com, a leading publisher of state- and county specific real estate deeds. Our forms are used by attorneys, consumers, and small businesses alike. We also offer numerous informative articles about real estate deeds and other home buying topics.