3 Secrets to Simplify Real Property During a Divorce
The 3 secrets that we will be highlighting should not be considered legal advice and be aware that divorce laws vary state by state.
You may have a friend or family member that is going through a separation or divorce. After years of working with clients, we have noticed three common elements often left out in the final divorce decree. These elements can present significant challenges after the divorce is finalized. These challenges often entail one spouse having to reach out to the ex-spouse and that can be extremely frustrating.
For simplicity’s sake, we will designate one ex-spouse as the Procrastinating Spouse and the other as the Responsible Spouse. Let’s take a look at these three elements.
- Clerk of the Court – in Nevada, we have seen language in the divorce decree that allows the Clerk of the Court to sign any document which either former spouse doesn’t sign. However, in less than 5% of the time, is that language included in the final decree. It is part of Nevada Revised Statutes, find it here. The reason this can be important for you, the Responsible Spouse, is that oftentimes the Procrastinating Spouse was supposed to get this handled immediately following the divorce. Now you may be in a situation that you want to refinance or sell the property. You are made aware that there is an issue with the title which requires your ex-spouse involvement. If this language would have been included with your decree, you could easily overcome the title issue by having the Clerk of the Court sign the needed documents. You would, therefore, not need to get your ex-spouse involved.
- Legal Description of Real Property – most people are not aware that their home address is not the legal description of real property. That is for the purposes of the US Mail. Also, the assessor’s parcel number is what is used for tax purposes, not for the transfer of the real estate. In a deed, which transfers ownership of a property, you will often see a term called “Exhibit-A” and in that description will be the legal description of the property. Ask your attorney to include the “Exhibit-A” when referencing the property and make sure to include its legal description. An example would be, Lot #, Block #, Subdivision Name, Book & Page, County Name, and State. If you have ever gone to get a permit to do work on your property, you have probably encountered the legal description. This is the same as the VIN number for a car.
- IT IS FURTHER ORDERED ADJUDGED AND DECREED… this is the language we often see in a divorce decree. This is the language you will find when a divorce decree is prepared by an attorney versus the do-it-yourself online forms. We strongly encourage people looking into a divorce to speak with an attorney and/or marriage mediator who is also an attorney.
Side Note – in the event that the spouses signed and recorded deed(s) removing interest from the property prior to the divorce being finalized, it may be in your best interest and we recommend that the attorney include language that states that the parties have already separated real property and identify it as we mentioned in item 2 above. This could have a bearing on the title to the property down the road.
When people trip over dollars picking up pennies with regard to divorce, we often find, like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. We work with our clients’ attorneys all the time and are happy to have a conversation with you and your attorney.
Quick Claim USA and its employees are not attorneys in the State of Nevada or in any other State or Jurisdiction. Quick Claim USA is not licensed to give legal advice and may not accept fees for giving legal advice. Should you have questions regarding any of the above items, you must seek the advice of independent legal/tax counsel of your choosing.