HOW TO REMOVE EX SPOUSE FROM DEED IN TEXAS
Generally, a home or other real estate purchased during a marriage is presumed to be community property and is owned by both spouses. Regardless if only one spouse is on the deed, the property is owned by both parties.
If spouses have purchased real estate property during their marriage, the property will need to be divided when they get divorced. In most cases, one of the ex-spouses’ names will need to be removed from the deed after the divorce.
The deed which transfers the share of the property owned by one spouse to the other spouse may be referred to as a Divorce Deed.
Most often, the Divorce Deed used is the Special Warranty Deed. The deed transfers the property as required by the divorce.
HOW TO TRANSFER HOUSE TITLE AFTER DIVORCE IN TEXAS
Your divorce decree should contain proper language that clearly states which spouse is awarded legal ownership of the real property.
The divorce decree itself may operate as a muniment of title. This means that the decree alone may be sufficient to transfer the house title after your divorce. However, your divorce decree alone DOES NOT change the property records to reflect the new owner of the property.
In order to update the property records, you will need to do one of the following:
File a property deed transferring the real estate to the person awarded the property in the divorce. OR
File your divorce decree in the public property records to show the transfer.
SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED AFTER TEXAS DIVORCE
When transferring property after divorce in Texas, you need to use a Warranty Deed. A General Warranty Deed or Special Warranty Deed may be used, however, the most common deed used after a divorce is a Special Warranty Deed.
The spouse whose name is to be removed from the title will need to sign the deed in front of any notary. This can be done anywhere in the world.
The signed and notarized deed will then need to be filed with the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located.
Good to know: Only the original signed deed can be filed. A copy cannot be filed. The deed cannot be faxed or emailed to be filed.
Note: The county clerk will charge a recording fee, usually about $30 to $40, to file the deed. Keep in mind, the county clerk typically does not accept a personal check. Most recording offices will accept cash, a certified check or a money order. It is a good idea to call ahead to confirm the method of payment accepted.
Once the deed has been filed, the original will be returned to the new owner of the property.
Also, the tax records will be updated, and the taxes will be billed to the new owner.
Good to know: The Warranty Deed transfers ownership of property, but it DOES NOT remove a spouse from the mortgage. Only the mortgage company can remove a person from the mortgage.
QUITCLAIM DEED AFTER TEXAS DIVORCE
Although they are used in many states, it is not recommended that you use a Quitclaim Deed after a divorce in Texas.
Quit Claim Deeds do not transfer real estate property in Texas.
When used appropriately, a Quitclaim is used to give up or relinquish any claims or interest in a property.
The Quit Claim Deed DOES NOT contain language which conveys or transfers property. Nor does a Quitclaim offer any warranty of title.
Good to know: Quitclaim Deeds are generally not sufficient in Texas for title companies to insure property title. Title companies will most often require a Warranty Deed.
TRANSFER THE PROPERTY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER THE DIVORCE
We recommend signing and filing the Special Warranty Divorce Deed as soon as possible once the divorce is completed.
You do not want to wait several years, and then need to find your ex-spouse to sign the deed.