California Real Property Transfers During and After Divorce Tip Sheet by Deed and Record

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California law on real property ownership due to divorce is explained in this Tip Sheet by Deed and Record. Rules during divorce are different from those after the divorce.

California law on real property ownership during and after a divorce.

This Tip Sheet by Deed and Record explains California law on real property ownership during and after a divorce also known as a dissolution of marriage. During the divorce, a spouse’s options on change in ownership are severely restricted. After the divorce, one spouse must transfer his or her ownership to the other spouse.

Four standard, mutual, temporary restraining orders are automatically effective in any divorce or dissolution in California. The orders bar both husband and wife from transferring or disposing of any real property. During the divorce if one spouse dies owning real property as a joint tenant or as community property with right of survivorship, the surviving spouse inherits the house.

Normally, a spouse in the middle of a divorce will not want the other spouse to inherit in the event of death. The solution is to sever the right of survivorship. A severed right of survivorship does not change ownership and so does not violate the automatic restraining orders. The severance changes inheritance to that of a tenant-in-common.

Real property owned as a tenant-in-common is distributed on death according to the terms a Will. If there is no Will, the tenant-in-common interest is distributed according to the intestate laws of California. The intestate laws provide if there is no Will real property owned by one spouse is inherited by the surviving spouse. At the same time, the tenant-in-common interest is created a Will must be created.

When assets of the marriage are divided between the spouses, the spouse awarded real property must be the sole owner of record. Sole ownership is needed to sell the real property. Sole ownership is required to refinance or borrow on the real property. Ownership transfer is by deed.

A deed is a document signed by the owner of the real property to transfer ownership. In a divorce the one spouse signs the deed giving his or her ownership to the other spouse. The deed must be part of the public database maintained by each county in California. Deeds are “recorded” in the county where the real property is located. Recording puts the world on notice of who owns the real estate and is the final word on who is the real property owner.

California law on real property ownership during a divorce and after a divorce is explained in this Tip Sheet. During the divorce, a spouse’s options on change in ownership are severely restricted to severing the right of survivorship. After the divorce, one spouse must transfer his or her ownership to the other spouse by deed.

This press release is provided by Mark W. Bidwell, an attorney licensed in California. Office address is 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. Phone number is 714-846-2888. Mar W. Bidwell markets through websites, such as DeedandRecord.com.5

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Mark Bidwell
Timeshare Lovers
since: 05/2016
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