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What is the purpose of a quitclaim deed?

From the moment you and your spouse determine that you should divorce, or even before that point, one of you may decide to move out of the family home in Michigan. This initial decision does not necessarily have anything to do with who is awarded the house in the final divorce decree, though, and neither does the presence of one or both names on the deed. According to MichiganLegalHelp.org, once the property division is finalized, you and your spouse may have to transfer the ownership of the real estate.

Upon receiving the Judgment of Divorce, one spouse receives the house and the other should be removed from the title. The transaction is different from a traditional sale, where the deed passes from the seller to the buyer. A quitclaim deed passes your spouse’s interest to you. In the event that the quitclaim deed is not delivered to you, your former spouse may face penalties for failing to obey the Judgment of Divorce.

The ownership of the property is completely separate from the responsibility for the mortgage payments. If you are giving up the house, handing over the quitclaim deed does not release you from the debt. The spouse who keeps the property may have to refinance the loan in order to remove the other’s name from the mortgage. Until that occurs, you are both liable for the payments. Because every divorce is unique, this general information about the transfer of home ownership during property division is provided for educational purposes only. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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