When you get divorced and you're granted the house, the judge will order the other party to sign what is called a quit deed claim. This is a claim that removes the other party from the financial gain of the home in the event of selling or refinancing the property, but may not remove them entirely from the mortgage. This means that even though you are granted the rights to the property in divorce, the other party will still be financially responsible for the home.
You can remove the other party from the mortgage of the home by refinancing in your name only once the quit deed claim has been signed and recorded in your local county recorder's office. However, getting the other party to sign the quit deed claim is not always as cut and dry as you'd think. If the other person will not sign the quit deed claim, here are things you can do.
Keep records in writing
Make a record of every attempt you have made to have the other person sign a quit deed claim. This can mean sending the claim to the other person's residence and requiring a signed signature at delivery. When you have made many attempts to have the claim filled out and have not received a response, you can then take legal action.
Talk to a lawyer
Your lawyer will do a few things to help you get the quit claim deed signed. One thing they will do is send a copy of a quit claim deed to the last known address of the other party in an attempt to get them to sign. A notice that you will take the other person to court if they refuse to sign and return the paperwork within a certain time frame can be beneficial in encouraging the person to take proper action.
File a motion
If, after several personal and lawyer attempts to get the other person to file a quit claim deed have failed, you can ask your lawyer to file a motion to have the order enforced. If the divorce order specifically states that the other party has to sign over their rights to your home, then the judge may grant the motion. However, your request may not be granted if your judge does not find that you have made enough attempts to have the order granted.
Sue the other party
If the judge will not automatically approve your motion to have the other party relinquish their rights to your home or will not make them sign the quit claim deed, you will have to sue the other party on your own. This is often referred to as a quiet title lawsuit, which means you are suing over a dispute over who owns your home. You may have to also put a notice in the local newspaper if the other party cannot be located at the address you last knew them to have.
Speak with a family attorney to learn more.