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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am legally separated in California since August 2013 but

Customer Question

I am legally separated in California since August 2013 but the divorce is not final. I am buying a house in Texas and because this is a community property state, I am being told that my estranged spouse needs to be on the deed of trust. On California this can be avoided by a quit claim deed but my understand is that this is not an option in Texas. How can I ensure that my estranged spouse is protected against debt and relinquishes her claim to the property, which she is more than willing to do.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Actually Texas doesn't "require" that a spouse be on the deed of trust, that is likely a requirement of the lender or the title company.

In Texas, the community property designation attaches at the time the property is purchased and the name on the deeds has nothing to do with whether a spouse owns a share or not. Many people try to avoid having their spouse having a claim by not putting their name on the property but it doesn't do anything if it comes time for a divorce.

Your wife can sign a waiver of any interest in the house or a document stating that it is a separate property purchase (really it is like a post-nuptial agreement) or can deed their share back to you. Then the property can be deed to you as "***** ***** as his separate property"

Who is telling you that your wife's name must be on the deed of trust?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The lender, as you suggested. My spouse wants to avoid signing the deed if trust and I agree that we should try to avoid it.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Talk to a local lawyer that does real estate work and, if possible, also does family law work. You an find a list of each at and then compare the lists to see who does both.

They can show you how to handle the situation and likely will contact the lender for you to make sure they will go along with it. I've seen several different methods used over the years depending on the totality of the circumstances.

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