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How to Transfer a Property Deed After a Divorce

 Posted on July 10, 2024 in Arlington Heights Bankruptcy Lawyer

Lake County real estate lawyerTransferring a property deed after a divorce can be difficult for any homeowner, and doing so because of a divorce can make the situation emotionally challenging. However, remember that you can get through this transition successfully with the right guidance and understanding of the process. An Illinois lawyer can guide you through the steps necessary to transfer your property deed following a divorce.

Do Not Delay the Property Deed Transfer

One of the worst things you can do after your divorce is finalized is delay transferring your property deed. In Illinois, you must act promptly to ensure that the property ownership aligns with the terms of your divorce decree. The reasons why timely action is important are the following:

  • Legal Compliance: Failure to transfer the deed as specified in your divorce decree could result in contempt of court.
  • Financial Protection: Delaying the transfer could leave you financially liable for a property you no longer own or have rights to.
  • Future Transactions: A delay in transferring the deed can complicate future property sales or refinancing efforts.
  • Tax Implications: Prompt transfer ensures that property tax responsibilities are correctly allocated.

Remember, the divorce decree itself does not automatically transfer property ownership. You must take additional steps to execute the transfer outlined in the decree.

Review Your Divorce Decree Carefully

Take the time to review your divorce decree thoroughly. This document will outline the court’s decision regarding the division of your marital property, including any real estate. When reviewing your decree, look for specific property division and deed transfer language. Note any deadlines for completing the transfer and identify who is responsible for initiating and paying for the transfer process.

You should also check for any conditions that must be met before the transfer can occur, such as refinancing requirements. If you have any questions or concerns about the terms outlined in the decree, it is important to consult with your attorney immediately. A careful review of your divorce decree ensures you fully understand your rights and obligations, helping to prevent potential complications in the property transfer process.

Prepare and Record the Deed

The process of transferring property ownership following a divorce involves two crucial steps: preparing the new deed and recording it with the appropriate county office. Both steps require attention to detail and adherence to specific legal requirements.

Preparing the New Deed

Preparing the new deed involves several critical steps. Begin by obtaining the correct deed form for your county. Next, gather all necessary information. The required information includes the legal property description, the Parcel Identification Number (PIN), the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee, and any reservations or exceptions to the transfer.

Ensure all required information is accurately included on the deed. Common elements in a transfer include:

  • The date.
  • The names of the grantor and grantee are stated in the divorce decree.
  • The consideration amount (typically $10.00 for divorce-related transfers).
  • A statement of the grantor’s free act and deed.

Accuracy in this step is crucial to avoid potential legal complications later. Once the deed is prepared, it must be signed by the grantor in the presence of a notary public. In Illinois, the notary must verify the identity of the signer, and both the notary and the grantor must sign the document. The notary’s seal must also be affixed to the document to make it legally binding.

Recording the Deed

After the new deed is prepared and signed, it must be recorded with the county recorder’s office where the property is located. This step is crucial as it makes the transfer a matter of public record, establishing legal ownership of the property.

You may need to complete a Real Estate Transfer Declaration form, even if the transfer is exempt from transfer tax due to it being part of a divorce settlement. When you submit the deed for recording, the recorder’s office will stamp it with the date and time of recording, which establishes the priority of ownership. This timestamp is important in the event of any future disputes about property ownership.

Contact a Lake County, IL Real Estate Lawyer

Transferring a property deed can be a difficult legal process that requires careful attention to detail. By taking action with a Gurnee, IL real estate attorney, you can make it through this transition. Call Newland & Newland, LLP at 847-549-0000 to schedule a free consultation and start the process of transferring your property deed.

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