Is a Quitclaim Deed Right for You?

Signing a Quitclaim Deed

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

For many couples going through a divorce, real estate is their largest asset, so it is important to understand your options. Two of the most common ways property is divided is either through an order to sell the property and split the earnings between you and your ex, or awarding the property to a single spouse.

A quitclaim deed is a fast way to move property from shared to sole ownership or transfer property to a family member. It removes the grantor’s interest in the property, but is sometimes referred to as a non-warranty—as there are no warranties about the quality of the title offered, providing very little protections to the grantee. This makes quitclaim deeds more common between people who know each other. In addition to transferring main residences, it is possible to use quitclaim deeds for timeshares and vacation properties.

To file a quitclaim deed, you will need to submit a cover sheet and a completed, signed, and notarized Declaration of Value form to the County Recorder’s Office in the city or county where the property is located.

Aspects of Quitclaim Deeds to Consider

When considering a quitclaim deed, it is often advised to fold it into the divorce proceedings, instead of after it is finalized to ensure compliance. However, a quitclaim deed isn’t the right choice for everyone, here are a few considerations before starting the process.

4 things to consider before participating in a quitclaim deed:

  1. Quitclaim deeds do not release you from loan obligations, so you will need to include an indemnity clause in your divorce agreement to protect yourself if your ex falls behind on mortgage payments.
  2. A quitclaim will terminate any rights you had that came with property ownership, which typically impacts property owners in gated or developed communities, where perks like dock access or private facilities are forfeited.
  3. If the equity in the property is larger than the IRS’s cap on a tax-free gift, the grantee will be required to pay the difference. This can be a shock if not discussed before the deed is signed.
  4. It is challenging to reverse a quitclaim deed, and often requires your ex’s cooperation to do so.

If a quitclaim deed doesn’t seem like the right choice for your situation, you have other options, including a general warranty deed or a special warranty deed. Our experienced attorneys at Ford & Friedman can help you weigh your options.

Every divorce is different, and when it comes to navigating a divorce that involves real estate, having a professional on your side to answer your questions and advocate for you can make all the difference. Our team at Ford & Friedman is here to help. Call us today at (702) 904-9898 to schedule a consultation.