A spouse is added to the title of your home by completing and recording a quitclaim deed. The quitclaim deed includes both your names and replaces the current deed. The exact deed form and filing process varies based on where you live. However, the general process is the same.
Obtain a blank quitclaim deed form. You can find them at office supply or stationary stores. You can also find state-specific forms online. Check your state's bar association or your county courthouse website for quitclaim deed forms you can download and print.
Use only ink to complete the deed. Both handwritten and typed deeds are accepted.
Fill in the date, property address and legal description. Refer to the current deed for the legal description.
Identify yourself as both the grantor and the grantee. Name your spouse as a grantee as well.
List you and your spouse as "joint tenants" if you want the property to automatically pass to the surviving spouse upon death. If you want to each own a separate, undivided share of the property, list yourselves as "tenants in common." Tenants in common don't have survivorship rights. Each party's share of the home passes to a designated beneficiary upon death.
Sign the deed in the presence of a notary. Depending on your state's laws, you may also need a witness. Typically, only the grantor is required to sign.
File the deed at the county recorder's office. If money isn't being exchanged between the spouses, there's usually no transfer tax assessed. In some states, a fee may be charged if there's still a mortgage on the home. For example, in Florida the tax rate is $0.70 per $100 of the total unpaid mortgage balance in all counties except Miami-Dade County. In Miami-Dade County, the tax rate is $0.60 per $100 for single family residences, with a $0.45 surtax on each $100 added for other types of property.
Pay the recording fee set by the county. The fee is typically between $10 and $30 in most counties, but can be as high as $90 in certain locations.
- Deed Claim: Florida Document Stamp Taxes
- Chicago Title Insurance Company: COUNTY RECORDING FEES
- HG.org. "Contracts 101—Warranty vs Quitclaim Deeds." Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- Realtor.com. "When Do You Need to Get a Quitclaim Deed?' Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- DivorceNet. "Interspousal Transfers Versus Quit Claim Deeds." Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- California State Board of Equalization. "Property Ownership and Deed Recording," Page 7. Accessed Aug. 13, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.