Filing a Quit Claim Deed in Florida After a Divorce

By Heather Frances J.D.

You may have a lot of paperwork to file after your divorce is final, including documents to transfer ownership in items you bought while married. You will have to use different methods to transfer ownership or responsibility for debts, vehicle titles and real estate. One common method to transfer ownership of real estate is a quitclaim deed, which must be filed with the county.

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is a document that transfers property between parties without any warrantees. If you transfer property to your ex-spouse by a quitclaim deed, you are transferring whatever interest you own without any guarantee that there are no "clouds" on the title that could interfere with the transfer. Clouds on a title include encumbrances, liens or improper conveyances. Your ex-spouse can’t sue you later if it turns out there were problems with the title to the property. This type of deed is common in divorces because, theoretically, both spouses are already familiar with the property and would know if there were problems with the title. If you owned a home together, filing a quitclaim deed will change ownership from both of you to just your ex-spouse.

Preparing the Deed

The party transferring the real estate usually prepares the quitclaim deed since the divorce decree often makes it his responsibility to transfer the property. For example, if your divorce decree states that you must give your share of your home to your ex-spouse, you must prepare the deed and ensure it is properly recorded.

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Contents of the Deed

A Florida quitclaim deed typically must include at least a description of the property, your name as grantor and address, your ex-spouse’s name as grantee and address, your signature with your name printed underneath, signatures of two witnesses with their names printed underneath and an acknowledgement by a notary. Your county probably also has formatting requirements, such as a required statement about who prepared the deed as well as margin sizes. An online legal documents provider can help you create an appropriate quitclaim deed.

Recording the Deed

The deed must be recorded at the county office where official land records are recorded in the county where the property is located. Often, this is the county’s comptroller or clerk office, and you can usually mail the document if you can’t visit the office to record it in person. When you record the deed, you will not be required to pay Florida’s Documentary Stamp Tax if you are transferring your marital home due to a divorce, but if you transfer other real estate, you will be required to pay the tax. There may also be a small recording fee for filing the document.

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Can a Divorce Decree Be Used in Lieu of a Quit Claim in Ohio?

References

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Quitclaim Deed & Divorce in Massachusetts

Married couples often own joint real estate that must be transferred if they divorce. In Massachusetts, a judgment of divorce includes an order dividing the marital assets, including real estate. Quitclaim deeds transfer real property interests and are generally used to convey a spouse's real estate interests according to the terms of the divorce judgment.

Quit-Claim Deed Before a Divorce

Divorces frequently include property division. Before a divorce and maybe even before contacting a divorce attorney, you and your spouse may verbally agree how to divide property. The two of you may even sign quitclaim deeds to each other conveying real estate before or during the divorce process. Although deeding property prior to the entry of a final divorce decree may seem like a good idea in theory, there may be numerous reasons to postpone the conveyance until a divorce has been finalized.

Adding an Ex-Spouse to a Deed After a Divorce

Once a divorce is finalized, the law treats ex-spouses as if they were never married to each other. Protections otherwise afforded to spouses no longer exist for the former couple. If you own property, you can add your ex-spouse as an owner of property, but doing so raises a number of potential legal problems.

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