If I ever divorce, how does my signing a quitclaim deed over to my husband affect my rights to obtaining equity on the property?

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If I ever divorce, how does my signing a quitclaim deed over to my husband affect my rights to obtaining equity on the property?

Or reimbursement to the money that I contributed to payments during our marriage? My husband bought a home 2 years prior to when we married. During our marriage he refinanced the property and had me sign a quitclaim deed even though the mortgage payments are made with our money.

Asked on October 24, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Separate property also includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

The house was your husband's separate property because he purchased it before marriage.  Mortgage payments made during marriage and the payments regarding the refinancing during marriage were community property because they were paid from income during marriage.  If you had not signed the quitclaim deed, you would have a one half interest in those payments as they were community property. 

A quitclaim deed releases your entire right, title, and interest in the property.  By signing the quitclaim deed, you have given up your entire right, title, and interest to the house and to your share of the mortgage payments and the refinancing payments.  The quitclaim deed is not effective until it has been recorded.  Recorded means filing with the County Recorder's Office.


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