Title Issues Affecting Marital Property

Guest blog by Michael Mazek, Mazek Law Group LLC

Divorce judgments and marriage settlement agreements in Illinois often dispose of or transfer the marital real property to one spouse over another. In some cases, it may be years before the spouse who keeps the marital real property realizes something very important: the ex-spouse may still have to sign a deed to transfer the marital home.

Unless the marital home is quit claimed properly, or the judgment transfers by order the full interest in the property, including the homestead rights, it is very likely that the ex-spouse will need to sign a deed to affect the sale of the home. This creates an often uncomfortable situation of tracking down an ex-spouse to sign a deed when the contact may be minimal years after a divorce. In more challenging circumstances, that ex-spouse may have moved out of the state or the country, and now tracking down and notarizing that signature may be a significant impediment to transferring the home.

To avoid this type of situation, make sure to have the marital property quit-claimed (if there is no consideration given) or handled through the judgment by court order, rather than waiting until it’s far too late to get substantial cooperation from an ex-spouse.