How a Bad Marriage Can Impact a Closing

Realtors – Learn How a Bad Marriage Can Impact a Closing

Title issues with married (and divorced) couples are some of the most common problems we run into in this business. What most people don’t know about property ownership is that even though a couple can buy a house in one spouse’s name, the other spouse shares interest in the property via marital rights. Which means that even if he’s not on the note, the husband has to sign when the house is sold, even in the event of divorce.

The most common scenario is something akin to this, but the problem can usually be resolved by simply contacting the husband for a separate signature. But in the event the two are no longer married, it can get a little sticky. Say a spouse doesn’t want their ex to know where they’re currently located after a divorce or separation; the signing process can get bogged down with the simple technicality of the LOCATION of the final signing. Or, worse, say the owner spouse has remarried, and was awarded the property in full, per the divorce. When the awarded-owner sells (with their new spouse), the ex must be present to sign away their rights to the property interest. Sometimes this is easy. On rare occasions, though, the ex can refuse to sign until they are paid a fee for their portion of the interest.

How do you avoid this? First, wait until after a divorce to sell a property. But before attempting to sell, be sure to do a Quit Claim Deed to extinguish the ex-spouse’s rights. This way the property (and its interest) is fully in control of the sole owner, and in the event they sell the property, don’t have to contact someone they might not want to do business with.