Quitclaim Deed and Divorce Proceedings – Disadvantages Involved

Quitclaim Deed and Divorce Proceedings – Disadvantages Involved

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Every divorce procedure entails the involvement of a massive amount of paperwork and if it concerns property and its division, then there is another paper which needs to be included – the quitclaim deed. This deed is a type of real estate deed in which one party to the property, technically known as the grantor, willingly hands over their interest in the property to another person, namely the grantee. It is owing to the nature of the deed that although the right to the title of the property are transferred by the owner, the moral obligation associated with the mortgage of the property remain with him as it was prior to the quitclaim deed. Change of title also does not free the property from debt nor does it make it immune to claims made by other parties.

A quitclaim deed is described as a documentation wherein once the person puts his signature on the paper it implies that he has given away his right of ownership to his property to another individual or entity. Hence, after the deed has been signed the grantor cannot lay claim to it under any circumstances except two exceptional situations. The first exception is if the divorced spouse of the grantee is willing to return the property back to the original owner by signing on another document and the second exceptional circumstance is if the deed is proven invalid through direct proof. While the former usually occurs in case of divorce, the latter is believed to be due to external pressure or under false information provided by the party which is likely to benefit.

Due to the nature of this deed it is mostly applied in case of divorce or for sorting property matters between family members. In case of a married couple opting for a divorce, the wife may ask the husband to sign on the quitclaim deed so that she receives the house as well as the land and he will not have any legal right over the property any more. The vice versa is possible as well wherein the wife will sign the quitclaim deed as a grantor and the husband would be the grantee. Between family members, this deed can be signed by one of the siblings after the death of parents with the intention of handing over the sole rights to the other sibling.

Procedure for filing a quitclaim deed commences with the acquisition of a blank quitclaim deed form from any of the myriad sources and fill it out very carefully as even the slightest mistake can invalidate it in the eyes of the law. Apart from accuracy of facts and figures, an imperative requisite is the legibility of handwriting and putting of correct names against the grantor and grantee boxes. The next step is notarization and this takes place at the notary public’s office with all the grantors and grantees in attendance. Having been notarized, the deed becomes legally binding and now it only needs to be recorded at the county clerk’s office in return for a small fee. At this stage it is advisable for all the parties involved to make copies of this real estate deed in case reference might be required in future.

Most of the times, a quitclaim deed suffices for settling party disputes especially when personal relationships are involved but there is a negative side to it as well and it is better to be aware of the disadvantages before opting for this deed. Since it is a legal document, it cannot be prepared by a layman which means hiring a professional for performing the needful is mandatory. This often involves extra cost and the consequences need not be very pleasant because the very nature of the deed is such that it entails conflicts. While divorce is one of the most common situations, even other types of situations involve two opposing parties wherein both are intend to clinch the best possible bargain for themselves.

Once signed, the quitclaim deed is binding and cannot be undone which means the grantor not only relinquishes his right to property but is not released from the mortgage as well. After the deed has been executed, the grantor cannot call the property his under any circumstances and therefore must give it plenty of thought before throwing in the towel. Likewise, signing the quitclaim deed and walking away does not absolve the grantor from the pending mortgage payments and he should be prepared for surprises later on. The only solution in this matter is to seek legal counsel which would settle the matter in a satisfactory manner so that you are free from unwanted future financial obligations.

Looked at from the grantee’s angle, although this real estate deed is one of the rare documents which actually favor the grantee, there are certain disadvantages here as well. Simply signing on the deed does not guarantee clear-cut ownership as the liens and liabilities must also be accepted as part of the package. In a situation wherein the property in question is tied down with conditions and binding agreements, these would interfere with the complete ownership of property and the grantee would not be a complete owner. Therefore, it is essential for the recipient as well to take a close look at the document prior to signing on it so as to be aware of the exact situation.

Being one of the most legally binding documents in the field of property law, the quitclaim deed is like an adoption – having made a commitment, it cannot be broken or compromised upon in any manner. Both parties involved have to adhere to it and accept the consequences no matter how unpleasant and undesirable they may be. It is for this reason that it should not be taken lightly at all and should it be the need of the situation, it should first be analyzed minutely and in great detail before being signed upon. Opting for this iron-clad authorized affirmation after in-depth research and analysis not only results in a mutually acceptable settlement but also saves a lot of time and money in the long run.
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