Which party is resposible for filing a quit claim deed?

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Which party is resposible for filing a quit claim deed?

My ex-wife and I divorced several years ago after going through mediation. She was ordered on the final judgment to relinquish the home to me. I was recently served with foreclosure notice and she was served with the court papers as well since she was still on the deed but not on the mortgage. She retained an attorney which had her fill out a quit claim deed and file with the clerk of courts in Collier County Florida. After successfully mediating my case with the bank, today I received a letter from her attorney that she is requesting that I pay her back her legal fees. Am I responsible for her legal fees? Is the petitioner or respondent ultimately responsible for filing the quit claim deed?

Asked on July 5, 2016 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is not a set 'rule' for who does what.  However, as an informal rule, the person benefiting by the document should also draft the document. Since you got the house, you should have drafted it and had her sign it earlier.  However, this, by itself, if not a basis for asking for attorney's fees... because it's just a general practice in the legal profession, not a set in stone rule.
The exception would be if the final decree of divorce said something different or outlines specifically who did what.  If the decree actually ordered her to draft and file it, then it was on her.  If the decree required you to prep and file the quit claim deed, then she could get attorney's fees for having to force you to do so.  However, your case is slightly different in that she didn't file a suit... she just went and did it... which means she volunteered.  If you are not sure which way your decree leans, take a copy of your decree to a couple of family law attorneys to have them review it.
You should also take a copy of the demand letter with you.  It really sounds like the attorney is trying to shake you up a bit in hopes of getting payment.


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