The Legal Effect of a Deed Transfer Between Spouses Who Are “Separated”

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Real Estate Attorney

Recently I met with a client who is married but separated from a woman who lives apart from him and resides in Florida. He lives in North Jersey, Hudson County to be precise, New Jersey.

He and his wife had a quit claim deed prepared in Florida a 1 ½ years ago. The Deed transferred title from him and his wife as grantors, to him and his son for $96,000 cash consideration paid to the wife.

The concern I raised to him had to do with spousal rights of possession, namely that the wife still may have possessory rights to the husband’s portion of ownership in the house. This was the marital house before she moved to Florida.

Although they no longer jointly reside in the house I questioned that this issue could be a future concern for title insurance if the house is sold.

N.J.S.A. 3B:28-3 states “the right of joint possession shall be extinguished by the consent of both parties, by the death of either spouse, by judgment of divorce, separation or annulment, by other order or judgment which extinguishes same, or by voluntary abandonment of the principal matrimonial residence.”

This statute should protect the husband from future claims by his spouse from whom he is separated.

To discuss your NJ Real Estate matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

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