When a divorcing couple in Minnesota reaches a property division agreement, they draft a divorce settlement. This is then submitted to the court, and, if everything seems to be in order, a judge issues a divorce decree. Divorced spouses are required to abide by the terms they agreed to, but divorce decrees do not change the legal ownership of assets. To avoid problems and prevent disputes, jointly-held loans should be paid off or refinanced in only one name, automobiles should be retitled and quit claim deeds should be signed to transfer ownership of jointly-held real estate.
Quit claim deeds
Quit claim deeds are simple documents that are signed when a property owner wants to give up their rights to a piece of real estate. These documents can either be drafted by an attorney, or they can be downloaded and printed. When completing a quit claim deed, it is a good idea to have a copy of the most recent deed for the property on hand to refer to.
Signing and recording a quit claim deed
When a quit claim deed will be used to transfer ownership of real estate after a divorce, both of the spouses must sign the document as they are both owners. Quit claim deeds must be signed in front of a notary. A signed and notarized quit claim deed transfers legal ownership of the property, but these documents should still be filed with a county land records office. A modest fee will be required to record the new deed, but this is a real estate and divorce cost that is worth paying.
Waiting could be a mistake
Signing and filing a quit claim deed is an important task when the ownership of real estate is transferred in a divorce. If a quit claim deed is not signed, the property will still be legally owned by both spouses even if the divorce decree states otherwise. This can make refinancing or selling the property very difficult. In this situation a quit claim deed will be needed to complete the transaction, which could pose a problem if divorced spouses are no longer in contact or harbor animosity or resentment toward one another.