If you have a final order of divorce in which you (or your spouse) was awarded property, you should make certain that the proper party has actual title. Not only do you want to be sure that you have what you are entitled to have, but you are also going to want to be sure that your name isn’t still on a title that you DON’T want.
Here are some problems than can occur if property from a divorce has not been transferred.
- You attempt to sell a piece of property that you were awarded in the divorce and find that your ex-spouse’s name is still on the deed or title, slowing down or negatively affecting the sale;
- You apply for a mortgage or loan and your list of assets and debts is not accurate;
- Your ex-spouse, who has a terrible driving record, has an accident with a motor vehicle which is still in your name;
- A bank account, investment account or retirement benefit that you counted on does not come through because the final paperwork was not completed.
These situations and more can happen. Generally the parties are instructed to appear at the office of one of the attorneys to sign the proper documents by a specific date. However, one or both parties may be feeling such a sense of relief from the divorce being granted, that they are anxious to move on. The lack of follow -through is usually unintentional.
In some situations, there are no additional documents to be drafted, but the divorce decree itself is adequate to transfer title. In this situation, a certified copy of the divorce decree is used and filed or presented in the proper manner (depending on what is being transferred).
In other situations, more extensive documents may be required (such as documents to split retirement accounts).
If your ex-spouse absolutely refuses to cooperate with the transfer, it may be necessary to file an enforcement action with the court.
If you have lingering issues with property transfer, a family law attorney can help you determine your options.