Wednesday, July 27, 2016

After the Divorce: The Deed to Your House

Once your divorce is final, you and your ex-spouse will need to split up the property. Any real estate that you owned together is now going to be titled to just one of you. A deed will need to be drafted, signed by both of you, and filed with official real estate records in your Texas county.

How does this get accomplished and what happens if there are problems?

  1. Decide or find out: who is actually drafting the deed. Is it your attorney or your ex's attorney? (if you are pro se - representing yourself, you'll need to decide how to get the proper form and how to get it signed and filed or if you want to hire a lawyer to take care of just this piece).
  2. Both parties will need to sign off on the deed once it is properly drafted. 
  3. The deed needs to be filed in the county records, (One of the attorneys will usually file it, or give specific instructions on how you can do so). 
  4. What if your ex refuses to sign? You must have both signatures on the deed in order for it to be valid. If you cannot get your ex to sign, you may have to hire your attorney to pursue an "enforcement" action. This is a separate action that is not part of the divorce case, but is a post-divorce necessity when one party is uncooperative. The Judge will order the uncooperative party to sign, and may also find the uncooperative party to be in contempt, and assess attorney's fees against him/her. 
  5. Once your divorce is final take an active role in making sure that any real estate deeds are drafted, signed and filed.  (also make sure that any motor vehicles and accounts are signed over as well).  Even if you are the party who is not receiving the asset, make sure that you cooperate in order to save yourself trouble later on.

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