Divorce is often a troubling time for all involved. The process not only involves the separation of two individuals who have been together, but it also involves the separation of property. Deciding who gets what property when the divorce becomes final is quite often one of the most difficult parts of the divorce. Once the property has been divided, it is important to get a quit claim deed filed on any real estate property.
What is a Quit Claim Deed?
A quit claim deed is defined as a form that must be filed in which the previous owner or joint owner of a piece of property relinquishes all rights to such property. Not only does the former owner relinquish the rights to ownership of the property, but he or she is also dismissed from all financial obligations associated with the property as well. This means that even though his name may still appear on the piece of property, he is no longer liable for anything to do with the property. A quit claims deed is important in the divorce process to ensure that, at a later date, a former spouse cannot be held financially responsible for the marital home or other pieces of property that are distributed between the two spouses.
The Process of Obtaining a Quit Claims Deed
Obtaining a quit claims deed can happen during the divorce process and can be filed along with your divorce papers once the marital property has been distributed among the parties involved. There are several important steps to file and obtain a quit claims deed:
- Hire a Lawyer: If you have hired a divorce lawyer to help you through the step by step process of your divorce, he will also be able to help you with the filing of your quit claims deed.
- Fill Out the Form: A quit claim deed form will need to be completed by an attorney. This can be by the attorney that you hired to take care of your divorce. If you did not hire a lawyer for such matters, then you will need to hire one just for this process. This form must be filled out by an attorney.
- Get it Notarized, If Required: Depending on the state in which you live, you may need the quit claims deed form signed by a witness. If this is a requirement in the state that you live in, you will take the form, once completed, to a notary and have him sign as a witness. In states where this is required, the absence of a witnesses’ signature makes the deed form invalid.
- Official Record: Once the form has been completed and signed if necessary, you must take it to the County Clerk’s Office or the official office that keeps all the records on deeds related to land and real estate in your state. The form is then filed on record within the office.
Getting a quit claim deed during or after divorce is not a do-it-yourself endeavor. You need a lawyer to complete the legal forms and to make sure the deed is done right so your interests are protected in the future.