If you own a house and are getting divorced, you and your spouse might reach an agreement that one of you will get to keep the home. If this is the way you both want it, there will be several steps that must take place before you can complete the process, and these steps include valuing the house, refinancing the loan, and completing a quitclaim deed.
Valuing the house
There are a lot of ways couples split homes during divorce but choosing to let one spouse keep the house is a common method. If you plan to do this, the first step in this process should be determining the value of the house, and you can hire an appraiser to do this. If you do not want to pay for an appraisal, as this can be expensive, you could find out the approximate value by talking to a real estate agent in your city. Knowing the value is important if you decide to split the equity in the house as part of your divorce settlement.
Refinancing the loan
Secondly, whoever is keeping the house will need to go to the bank to get a loan for it. This is a refinancing type of loan, and it allows one of you to get the loan put in only your name. This is important to do if the loan is currently in both of your names. By refinancing, you can remove the other person's name from the loan, which means only the spouse who stays in the house will be responsible to pay for the mortgage loan.
Completing a quitclaim deed
The other step you must complete is filing a quitclaim deed. When one spouse refinances, this switches the loan from both names to just one name, but it does not remove the other spouse's name from the deed. To get the other person's name off the deed, you would need to file a quitclaim deed. This is something you can do on your own; however, it is easier to let a lawyer do it for you, and your divorce lawyer might be able to handle this.
These are the three necessary steps that must be completed if you decide to allow one of you to keep the home. If you have questions about this or other parts of your divorce, talk to a lawyer today who specializes in divorce law by calling a law office of your choice.
I am a real estate attorney, and I have been helping clients buy and sell property for many years. Some clients do not realize their legal obligations and options when it comes to purchasing or selling a house or land. I hope that this blog will be a way for people to get information about legal issues in real estate and what they need to know when doing business. Buying and selling property can be complicated, and all parties involved have legal obligations. Know what is expected of you, and you will be able to get the best out of your real estate transactions.