Today we had a presentation in our office by the legal counsel for a local title company. Some of the items that were brought up I found particularly interesting. Please note that this is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice regarding your personal real estate. For specific information on this subject you are advised to seek competent legal advice from an attorney.
General information regarding divorces and real estate:
Divorces can only be filed in the county which the couple resides.
Once a petition has been filed, an automatic “restraining order” is put in place on real property. This means that the property cannot be sold or refinanced without all parties permission.
Once a divorce decree is filed, there is sometimes wording to the effect that says that the property is “to be rewarded” or “will be deeded” to a particular spouse. Before the house can be sold, a new deed has to be filed. The best case scenario is when the divorce decree states that the house “is rewarded” or “is deeded” to the spouse, which likely wouldn’t require a new deed.
Occasionally the divorce decree will state that the property is awarded to a particular party but the property must be sold and the proceeds split. There are many unfortunate instances where the party who is awarded the property turns around and mortgages the property in order to pay off debt, and thus when the property is sold the proceeds are reduced dramatically.
The legal description has to be included in the decree. If it isn’t included this will be another hangup that the title company will have to clear up prior to closing.
On child support issues:
In Oregon, child support is considered a “revolving judgement” which means that the child support will always show up as a judgement in the title report even if the payments are current. The person who is paying child support needs to get a “satisfaction” from the party in order to close on the transaction. Unfortunately these can be difficult to obtain, especially in the case of an upset spouse. And, even if the state of Oregon is collecting the child support and turns around and pays it to the other party, the state will not issue a satisfaction. It is still up to the person who is receiving the child support. In order to protect yourself in this situation, it is best to keep a copy of the cancelled check or other proof that the child support. Note that if the child is going to school, child support is still owed, even after the child turns 18. The payments then go to the child.
Please contact me if I can help you further.