Obtain a Clear Title to Real Property in a Divorce

Often times in a divorce, one party is awarded real property. The Judgment and Decree sets out language similar to the following: “Respondent is awarded the homestead located at 111 Sunshine Street, Cheery County, State of Bliss. Petitioner shall execute a quit claim deed to Respondent. If Petitioner fails to execute a quit claim deed, then a recording of the judgment and decree shall operate to transfer title.” It may be a unwise, however, to rely just upon the recording of the Judgment and Decree to transfer title.

At some point, the party awarded the property will want to sell or refinance. Any lender or buyer will require a title examination to determine clear title to the property.

The party awarded the property should follow-up the divorce with a Quit Claim Deed and a properly drafted Summary Real Estate Disposition transferring title to the property. The Disposition is a brief outline that operates to record the fact of the divorce and the transfer of the real property. The Court signs the Disposition and a certified copy is recorded in the County where the property is located. A title examiner has all of the necessary information in a properly drafted and recorded Disposition to clear title.

Note: Legal descriptions must be exact in the Decree; in the Quit Claim Deed; and in the Summary Real Estate Disposition. The property tax statement legal description is an abbreviated form and should not be used for legal documents.

Note: Changing title to real property does not change any party’s obligation on the mortgage or equity line of credit secured by the property.

About Kate Willmore, Esq.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, divorce, custody and family attorney brings over 25 years experience to every client's legal matter. *** Licensed in Minnesota and in California

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