Remove a former spouse, ex wife or ex husband as owner of real property due to divorce, judgment, court order, or marital
In California most parties in a divorce or dissolution of marriage represent themselves to avoid legal costs. A key term of most resulting marital settlement agreements and judgments is the award of the family home to one spouse. This website, DeedAndRecord.com, sponsored by Mark W. Bidwell, provides the final document, the deed, to remove one spouse as owner.
Transfer by Deed
The spouse awarded the real property must have sole ownership of the real property to sell, refinance or borrow on the property without the permission or cooperation of the other spouse. Sole ownership is obtained by a document known as a “deed.” A deed is an eight one-half by 11 inch paper signed by an owner of the real property that transfers ownership. Deeds are either “warranty deeds” “grant deeds” or “quit claim deeds.”
Grant deeds and warranty deeds by California law have the owner’s promises he or she has not conveyed the property to someone else and the real property does not have any outstanding taxes or debts secured by the real property. A quit claim deed conveys ownership “as is.” A quit claim deed is appropriate for most divorces.
The non-owning spouse signs a deed conveying his or her ownership interest to the spouse awarded the real property. A deed does not change the loan document. Until the loan is refinanced or paid off the former owning spouse will remain as a debtor on the loan.
No Tax on Transfers
Inter-spousal transfers of ownership in California are free from transfer tax and property tax increase. The grant deed needs on its face a reference to the California tax law that exempts the deed from the transfer tax. The Preliminary Change of Title Report provides information to establish why the transfer is exempt from an increase in the property tax base.
California maintains records of real property owners by county. Each County in California is responsible for knowing who owns each and every real property within the boundaries of that County. The deed is “recorded” in the county where the real property is located. Recording the deed puts the world on notice and is the final word on who owns the real property.
What we do
Title search for how title is held and legal description
Prepare quit claim deed with legal description for signature
Prepare transfer tax exemption report to keep the deed free of transfer tax and property tax increases
File and record the deed and exemption report with the appropriate government entity
Call 949-474-0961 or email Mark@DeedAndRecord.com. Information needed is: real property address, name of ex-spouse, name and address of owning spouse.
For California real property make payment of $149. Cost includes all filing and research fees
You are sent by mail or email the quit claim deed and preliminary change of ownership report
Document is signed and returned to Mark Bidwell, 18831 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 270, Irvine, California 92612
Document is recorded and returned to you with recorder’s stamp and document identification number
Severing Joint Tenancy during Divorce in California In California every proceeding for nullity, dissolution, or legal separation, four standard mutual temporary restraining orders are automatically effective. The orders bar both parties from transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or disposing of any real property.
Severing joint tenancy does not violate the automatic restraining orders. One spouse may change how title is held from that as a joint tenant to a tenant-in-common. This is according to the Appellate Court in Estate of Mitchell.
“We will hold that the severance of a joint tenancy by recording a declaration of severance is not a "transfer" or a "disposition" of "property." Accordingly, such a severance does not violate either the automatic temporary restraining order in a dissolution proceeding or a similarly worded court-ordered temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.” Estate of Mitchell (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 1378
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Questions? E-mail to Mark@DeedAndRecord.com or call 949-474-0961