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The Impact of Divorce on a Jointly Owned Home

Posted by Anthony Serra | Mar 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

What happens to the ownership of your home when you get divorced? A good question, the answer to which you should know and understand. The short answer is: what happens to the home is whatever was agreed to by the parties. If the parties say the wife should keep the home, for instance, then that is what should happen. If the home should be sold, then steps to sell the property should commence as per the agreement of the parties. The settlement agreement is the road map for what should happen. However, a settlement agreement is not self-executing.

What happens if the house is to go to the wife but nothing is done to the title? That is to say, the settlement says the house is to go to the wife but there is no deed from the husband conveying his interest to the wife? In that case, this presents a problem since legally the husband still has an interest in the property (i.e., still co-owns the property with his former spouse) but from an equitable standpoint, one can argue full ownership rests with the former wife.

This, of course, presents a problem and can lead to protracted and expensive litigation to resolve, especially if something happens to the parties and their children are now the parties in interest. A divorce does not automatically remove a spouse's name from a deed, even if the settlement agreement says that the property is to be owned 100% by one spouse. How do you avoid this problem? Simple – the spouse giving the property away needs to sign a deed, in most cases what is called Quit Claim deed. Again, divorce settlement agreements are not self-executing and certain steps must be taken after the divorce to ensure that what was agreed to actually happens.

About the Author

Anthony Serra

Tony Serra is a passionate advocate, especially for the elderly, disabled and those of modest means who need the services of an experienced and caring attorney. For more than 30 years, Tony has been helping common, everyday folks navigate their way through life's turbulent waters. Through innovation and utilizing modern technology, Tony and his law firm are now able to offer quality legal services that at one time were prohibitively expensive, at a fraction of the cost. If you need basic legal services, such as a Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Special Needs Trust, real estate transactions, uncontested guardianship pleadings and much more, please visit our website and our SMART LAW legal services platform. You will be pleasantly surprised by what we offer and glad you did! Tony is also an experienced mediator and founder of the Conflict Resolution Center of NJ. Tony has specific training in family matters as well as elder law and contested guardianship and estate cases.  


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