Removing a spouse from the title of your property after a divorce is a very popular question. After years of posting and originating about use of the owelty refinance as a way to split the equity in the house after a divorce between husband and wife, I looked back and realized that I did not actually include the simple detail that is not necessarily common sense to everyone. That is, that during a refinance of an owelty, the spouse that is NOT keeping the house, is removed from the title of the home.
1. Quitclaim Deed- this is one way to remove a spouse from title, but upon removing the leaving spouse from title, the leaving spouse no longer has rights to the property or it’s interest, as mentioned on Wikipedia’s explanation of the Quitclaim Deed. Quick note; Quitclaim and Quickclaim is said to be synonymously used. I myself have heard them both used. One concern that many within the industry mention about this is the risk that the lender holding the note could potential call the note due if they found that this quitclaim process took place. Briefly, it is my understanding that the lender originally agreed to make the loan with both spouses on the title, and removing the spouse without their permission is “breach of contract” in sorts. Don’t quote me on that one.
Wiki’s quoted explanation of the Quitclaim Deed relating to the divorce process
“Another common use for a quitclaim deed is in divorce, whereby one spouse terminates any interest in the jointly owned marital home, thereby granting the receiving spouse full rights to the property. For example, when a wife acquires the marital home in a divorce settlement, the husband could execute a quitclaim deed eliminating his interest in the property and transferring full claim to the wife quickly and inexpensively.”
2. Refinance the property- in many cases through the years, when divorcing spouses have contacted me to study their options in how to handle the homestead property in their divorce, some decide that they may not have enough equity in the home to bother with splitting equity between them, or they have other assets that they would rather use to split interests from their marital estate. If the spouses agreed on not splitting the equity, the spouse keeping the property could simply just refinance the property, and the leaving spouse would sign an affidavit at closing agreeing to remove their name from the title.
3. Owelty Refinance (Click Owelty Refinance to link to “all you need to know about owelty refinance in divorce”)- the owelty refinance is essentially the same process as #2 above. The only difference is that the divorce decree adds the variable of splitting the equity of the home while also refinancing the property. So, if you were wondering, does the owelty refinance also accomplish your goal of removing the leaving spouse from title, the answer is yes. The leaving spouse will be removed from title upon the refinance of the owelty.