what to do with your house title after divorce

What to Do With Your House Title after Divorce


Divorce is a complex process that involves the division of assets, and one of the most significant assets for many couples is the marital home. Deciding who gets the home and what to do with the property title after divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging. In this article, we will explore how the division of marital property varies depending on the state, the impact of the state you live in on property division, the fate of the mortgage in a divorce, and how to update the house title after the divorce.

Who Gets the Marital Home or Other Shared Property in Divorce?

The division of marital property in a divorce can vary based on the laws of the state you reside in and whether you have a prenuptial agreement. Some states follow the principle of equitable distribution, where marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Other states adhere to the concept of community property, where marital assets are generally divided equally between spouses.

In equitable distribution states, factors like each spouse’s income, contributions to the marriage, and the length of the marriage play a role in determining how assets and debts are divided. This means that one spouse may receive more than 50% of the marital home or other shared property.

On the other hand, community property states typically divide marital assets equally, with each spouse receiving 50% of the marital home or other shared property.

How Does the State You Live In Impact Who Gets the House?

The state you live in has a significant impact on property division, including the marital home. Let’s take a closer look at the two primary types of property distribution laws followed in the United States:

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Equitable Distribution

In states that follow equitable distribution, the court aims to divide marital property fairly, considering various factors. These factors may include each spouse’s income and earning potential, contributions to the marriage, and the duration of the marriage. As a result, one spouse may receive a larger share of the marital home or shared property if deemed fair by the court.

Community Property

In states that follow community property principles, marital assets are typically split equally between spouses. In such states, each spouse is entitled to 50% of the marital home or other shared property.

What Happens to a Mortgage in a Divorce?

The fate of the mortgage after a divorce depends on several factors. If both spouses are listed on the mortgage, one spouse may choose to keep the house and take over the mortgage payments, while the other spouse is removed from the loan. Alternatively, if neither spouse can afford to keep the house or has no interest in it, they may choose to sell the property and split any profits or losses according to their divorce settlement agreement, after first paying off the mortgage.

What Should You Do With Your Marital Home in Divorce? Explore Your Options.

Deciding what to do with the marital home can be overwhelming. Seeking advice from a qualified professional can provide valuable insights into your specific situation. Additionally, you can use a home buyout calculator to understand the financial implications of keeping or selling the property.

How Do You Update Your House Title After a Divorce?

After a divorce, updating the house title is essential to ensure proper transfer or removal of ownership. You have two primary options:

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Transferring a House Title to Your Ex-Spouse

Transferring the house title to your ex-spouse involves signing over ownership of the property to them through a quitclaim deed. This legal document facilitates the transfer of ownership between parties and should be filed with the county clerk’s office where the property is located to update official records. It is also crucial to ensure your name is removed from any existing mortgage to avoid liability for payments.

Removing Your Ex-Spouse from Your House Title

Removing your ex-spouse’s name from the house title requires filing a new deed that removes their ownership interest. The type of deed needed depends on any outstanding liens or other property-related issues. Like before, the new deed must be filed with the county clerk’s office to update the official records.


In conclusion, the fate of the marital home in a divorce is influenced by state laws and individual circumstances. The division of property and updating of the house title are critical steps that require careful consideration and professional guidance. Taking the time to understand your options and seeking expert advice can help ensure a smoother transition during this challenging period.

FAQ about House Titles and Divorce

What is a quitclaim deed, and should I get one?

A quitclaim deed is a legal document used to transfer property ownership from one person to another. It may be appropriate if you are transferring ownership to someone you trust and there are no outstanding property issues.

Can I sell my house during my divorce process?

Generally, both spouses have an equal right to the marital property until a final divorce settlement is reached. Attempting to sell the house without the other’s consent or a court order can lead to legal complications.

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What if my spouse refuses to sign the house over to me?

If your spouse refuses to transfer ownership, negotiations or court intervention may be necessary, depending on the circumstances.

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