In Virginia, divorcing couples use a quitclaim to give complete ownership to the spouse who was awarded the home and to remove the other spouse’s name from a real estate title. However, it is vital to understand that removing all rights of ownership doesn’t release you from liability for the mortgage.
Virginia Quitclaim Laws: Limitations and Advantages
Signing a quitclaim deed releases your interest in the property but it continues to remain as security for debts, including mortgage and taxes, regardless of whose name appears on the title. This means that you have no rights to the property but you are still legally obligated to pay any debts incurred while you were listed as an owner. It is helpful to file the signed quitclaim with the county recorder as soon as you sign it.
Refinancing is the only method to transfer or remove responsibility for any outstanding tax debt, past due mortgage payments, or liens to the other spouse’ name. For the spouse who is awarded the house, refinancing protects against foreclosure.
If both spouses agree to the terms of a divorce settlement, a quitclaim deed is the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to remove your spouse’s name from the deed to the property. If both spouses do not agree on the settlement of assets and debts, then the court will decide on an equitable division.
Contact the family law attorneys at Kurylo & Gold today for help with your case.