INTERSPOUSAL TRANSFER DEED: Overview, & Guidelines for the Form Filling

Interspousal transfer Deed
image credit: her lawyer

Occasionally, property that you and your spouse jointly possess must be transferred to just one of you as the only owner. This is frequently part of divorce procedures, but it could also be for other reasons, such as financial reasons. You don’t have to sell your home to your spouse to execute this kind of property transfer. There’s a chance you won’t have to pay any taxes at all. You can use an interspousal transfer deed in California or several other jurisdictions to make this type of ownership change. All these are captured in the interspousal transfer deed.

What Is an Interspousal Transfer

An interspousal transfer deed, also known as an interspousal transfer grant deed, is a legal instrument that gives one person in a marriage sole ownership of shared property, such as a house.

In divorce disputes, interspousal transfer deeds are frequently to transfer property to one spouse. A more equitable method would be for the spouse who is still living in the house to agree to refinance under their own name or sell the house, depending on the circumstances, to potentially provide the ex a fair disbursement of equity.


Interspousal Grant deeds are a legal instrument to transfer real estate interests between spouses and are a solid means to avoid tax liabilities when shifting property from one spouse to the other. When you transfer title to a property, the county will often charge a transfer fee and may review the property’s value for property taxes. Which can cost you thousands of dollars. When used between two married individuals, an interspousal grant deed avoids these potential fees because it is exempt from transfer tax and does not result in a reassessment. Making it a cost-effective method of transferring real estate between spouses for estate planning or after a marriage or divorce.

An interspousal grant deed might also be beneficial when one spouse has bad credit and the pair wants to refinance their home. When it comes time to refinance, a couple could use the interspousal transfer deed to transfer the title of their property to the spouse with superior credit in order to get a better mortgage interest rate. There are a variety of other reasons to use an interspousal grant deed. Including transferring the title as part of a divorce settlement, a couple desiring to add his or her partner to the title, or just avoiding a house reassessment.

When Is an Interspousal Transfer Deed Used?

Interspousal transfer deeds are commonly used in divorce proceedings to transfer property to one spouse. But they can also be used for other purposes.

Sometimes lenders require the borrower’s spouse to sign an interspousal transfer deed. So that a vengeful spouse can’t try to claim half of the recovered debt in the event of a future foreclosure auction.

Interspousal transfers are also sometimes negotiated if one spouse’s credit difficulties are causing financial hardship. For the other spouse, even if the marriage is strong.

Interspousal Transfer Deed Rules

#1. Property can be transferred at any time

You don’t need to be going through a divorce or have any other particular conditions to use an interspousal transfer deed to transfer property. The most prevalent grounds for seeking a transfer are divorce or financial difficulty.

#2. Taxes

Interspousal property transfers are frequently exempt from gift and transfer taxes. Making it a cost-effective alternative to moving property between spouses.

#3. Timeline 

Interspousal transfer tax exemptions expire one year after a divorce is finalized. To take advantage of the tax benefits. Sign the interspousal transfer deed forms while you’re still legally married if you’re going through a divorce. If you wait too long, you’ll be responsible for the additional fees. There is no time limit for signing off on an interspousal transfer if you’re married and doing it for another reason.

#4. If you live in California

All property acquired during a marriage in California is deemed communal, and hence could be divided equally during divorce proceedings. However, in 2018, a California appeals court decided that interspousal transfer deeds contained the required language to “transmute” community property to private ownership. In essence, the state confirmed the legitimacy of interspousal transfer deeds, agreeing that they effectively transfer property title.

Interspousal Transfer Deed vs. Quitclaim Deed

The main difference between an interspousal transfer deed and a quitclaim deed is that with a quitclaim. The spouse who is giving up their interest in the shared property may still be liable for the mortgage or other debts associated with it.

A quitclaim retains the transferer liable for any responsibilities relating to the property even though the transferer no longer has a residential interest in it. But an interspousal transfer provides the transferee with an entire interest in the property.

Do You Need an Interspousal Transfer Deed?

Interspousal deeds are only required for property that is truly shared between you and your spouse. To put it another way, they don’t apply to any gifted property.

Let’s imagine you’re a very rich couple who gave each other a beach property as an anniversary gift a few years ago, putting only their names on the deed, and now you’re divorcing. Because the beach house was a gift, it is distinct property rather than marry or share property, and hence no interspousal transfer document is required. Despite your purchase, your ex would retain ownership of the property.

When to Use a Quit Claim Deed, and When to Use an Interspousal Transfer Deed

Using an interspousal transfer deed to complete a property transfer can save you money on taxes. When a property’s title is changed, the county where it is may charge a transfer tax and re-evaluate the property’s value. Perhaps resulting in a higher property tax bill. An interspousal transfer deed is a type of special transfer that exempts the bearer from transfer taxes and makes property transfers between spouses more cost-effective.

Quitclaim deeds are simple to locate and utilize. They can be at almost any office supply store or even on the Internet. It’s crucial to realize that a quitclaim deed allows one spouse to relinquish their rights to a property. But not necessarily their obligation for any mortgage or lien that still exists on the property.

If one spouse receives the marital home as a result of divorce and the other spouse transfers his. Or her stake in the property using a quitclaim form rather than an interspousal transfer deed, there may be issues.

Even if that spouse relinquishes or surrenders their interest in the property. They may still be liable for half of the mortgage debt because their liability cannot be by a quitclaim deed.

Going Deeper: Quit Claim Deeds

Quitclaim deeds are each and every day in the real estate business. Do not fall into the trap like so many others do in believing that this is the correct way to transfer ownership. Or the title of a property.

Bear in mind that a quitclaim deed will transfer the title or ownership of a property with absolutely no warranty. You get the title strictly “as is.” It comes with no guarantees, as previously mentioned.

By signing a quitclaim deed, you are relinquishing or relinquishing your own claim to the property in question. Allowing the other person on the title most likely your spouse to own it completely in their name. It’s critical to realize that you won’t be an owner of this land anymore (unless the other party decides to add you back onto the title later on).

This is a simple and quick procedure. Many people are capable of completing this task alone. The form is available online or at a local office supply store. Simply obtain the form, complete it with the owner’s name and property details, and sign it. Then take the form to a notary public and get it at the county courthouse.

The procedure will thereafter be complete. Keep in mind that even if you do not record the deed with the proper county officials. The person who owns the document can use it to invalidate your claim for example, during a divorce. For the best outcomes, you may want to see an attorney.

How to Draft an Interspousal Transfer Deed

When it comes to preparing an interspousal transfer deed, there are a series of templates that one can use as guidelines. However, Businessyield advises you to seek the help of an attorney if you are within the State. Working closely with an attorney helps ensures you are not on the losing end at any point of the transfer deed.

Interspousal Transfer Deed in California

Property titles are between spouses through interspousal transfer deeds. In California, here’s all you need to know about interspousal transfer deeds.

Interspousal transfer deeds are comparable to quitclaim documents, but they have some advantages. However, there are hazards to executing an interspousal transfer deed in California. As the gains in areas like taxation can backfire.

How Can an Interspousal Transfer Deed Affect a California Divorce?

Using an interspousal transfer deed to transfer property does not necessitate any specific circumstances. Couples going through a divorce or going through financial difficulties frequently seek a transfer. Because California is a community property state, all assets accumulated during a marriage are divided equally throughout divorce proceedings.

Interspousal transfer documents can “transmute” property from communal to individual, according to a California appeals court ruling in 2018. This means that a property’s title can be transferred, which is particularly common in divorce cases.

The following are the legal risks of signing an interspousal transfer deed in California;

#1. Taxation

Using an interspousal transfer deed to transfer property does not necessitate any specific circumstances. Couples going through a divorce or going through financial difficulties frequently seek a transfer. Because California is a community property state, all assets during a marriage are divided equally throughout divorce proceedings.

Interspousal transfer documents can “transmute” property from communal to individual, according to a California appeals court ruling in 2018. This means that a property’s title can be transferred, which is particularly common in divorce cases.

#2. Divorce

Another legal risk linked with California interspousal transfer deeds is if the deed is signed and the couple later divorces. The spouse who does not have title or ownership would have no property rights and will not be able to benefit from any potential sale revenues. Because the property is no longer owned jointly after the divorce, this is the case. This regulation still applies if a spouse paid property taxes and other house payments after the interspousal transfer deed was signed.

#3. Estate

Another legal concern linked with interspousal transfer deeds in California is that a spouse’s family may lose the right to inherit sections of an estate since both spouses no longer own the property. This can be especially challenging if there is a second marriage, as children may lose ownership of a home that was originally purchased with the other wedded parent.


Property transfer is a major source of stress for many separating spouses, but with the right legal understanding and method, it may be made much easier. Each paper is useful in its own manner, depending on the situation. Consider both of these documents and discuss which one will be most beneficial to you and your case with your attorney.

FAQs On Interspousal Transfer Deed

Is an Interspousal transfer a gift?

Interspousal transfers of cash and separate property are usually not taxable. 26 U.S. Code §1041 provides that a transfer between spouses, or former spouses when “incident to divorce”, is not taxable in most circumstances. The transfer is treated as a gift.

Can wife gift property to husband in India?

Your sister can execute a gift deed in favor of her husband with a rider that he shall not sell or gift the land. The condition regarding the cancellation of the gift in the event he remarries can also be incorporated.

How much can I give to my spouse tax-free?

The annual gift tax exclusion allows individuals to give up to $15,000 tax-free to a single recipient. Spouses are entitled to the same annual gift tax exclusion benefit for a combined total of $30,000 to a single recipient (called a “split gift”).

  1. GRANT DEED: Best US Practices & All you should Know
  2. Bargain and Sale Deed: How it Works, Importance, Components & Drawbacks
  3. SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED: Definition & How It Works (Texas & Florida)
  4. Deed Of Trust: Overview, Mortgage vs. Deed of Trust & How it Works
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like