Filing a Quit Claim Deed in Florida After a Divorce

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

Filing a Quit Claim Deed in Florida After a Divorce

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

A Florida divorce decree documents the equitable division of the divorcing couple's assets and debts. However, it does not actually divide accounts or change ownership of real estate or other assets. If the decree states that real estate ownership involving the couple should transfer to the other spouse, then a warranty deed or quit claim deed must be filed with the applicable county's Recorder of Deeds.

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Understanding and Drafting a Quit Claim Deed

Quit claim deeds are commonly used to transfer property rights after a divorce. When you use a quit claim deed to transfer ownership of Florida real estate to one spouse after a divorce, you transfer the property as is, without any express or implied warranties. The person transferring title, referred to as the grantor, does not guarantee that title to the property is clear of any other claims. A quit claim deed filed after a divorce merely transfers the grantor's ownership rights to the grantee, the spouse taking title after the divorce.

When preparing a quit claim deed for Florida property, use a form that complies with Florida law. You need to file the completed deed with the applicable county Recorder of Deed's office, as described below. However, county employees cannot provide legal advice or help you draft forms. You can find instructions online or on the form itself if you are unsure how to fill it out. But the information requested in the form should be self-explanatory.

Meeting Legal Formalities

Florida quit claim deeds must contain certain information, including the parcel ID or folio number, the legal description, grantors' and grantees' names and addresses, and a statement documenting the name and address of the person who prepared the deed. In addition, the form must meet specific margin and white space requirements.

Quit claim deeds in Florida require witness signatures. The witnesses must also print their names on the document. In addition, a notary public must acknowledge the grantor's signature.

Recording the Deed

You must record the completed quit claim deed with the applicable county Recorder of Deeds. You can record deeds in person or through the mail. Contact your county's Recorder of Deeds office for hours and address information. If you work with a licensed attorney to prepare the deed, the attorney's office might file the deed electronically.

Each county in Florida has its own recording fees, referred to as documentary or doc stamp fees, which you must pay at the time you record your quit claim deed. The Recorder of Deeds' office might waive doc stamp fees for certain property transfers after a divorce. Check with your county to determine required fees.

The quit claim deed changes ownership of your Florida real estate. However, it does not affect any outstanding mortgage loans on the property. If your divorce decree awarded the home and the related mortgage to one spouse, you must work with your mortgage company to remove the other spouse's name. Preparing and recording a quit claim deed is an important step after a divorce. Proceed carefully to avoid costly mistakes.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.