Does my spouse need to sign the Warranty Deed in Texas?

7 Replies

I am selling a small piece of vacant land that is in my name but I purchased it while married to my spouse. I am now selling it and wondering if my wife needs to be on and sign the deed that will be conveyed. The property is in Texas and we live in Texas. I greatly appreciate any feedback or insights.

Did you or she ever reside on the property, or claim it as a homestead? If you answered yes to either of those conditions, then she probably needs to sign. 

Did you use it solely for investment purposes? Was the property deeded to you as separate property? If you answered yes to either or both of the previous two questions, she may not need to sign, but it would still be better for her to sign. Her signature in this situation is good form. 

In the event that you do not need your wife to sign, you should be able to factually prove your answers to those questions. An affidavit should suffice. 

May I ask why you do not want her to sign? 

Thanks Josh, the property was purchased as an investment and was never used as homestead or residence. It was deeded to me separately. Her not signing is more out of convenience than anything. Also, I'm trying to figure out how to add her to the deed. I am the Grantor since I'm on the current Title. Would I add her as a Grantor as well even thought she is not on the current deed as a grantee?

When you say "It was deeded to me separately." there are two possible conclusions. Does the deed say something like, "Jason Jones, as his sole and separate property," or does it just have your name, and not your wife's? eg. "Jason Jones, whose address is"

If the word separate or individual is used near your name, then that is specifying your separate property. If not, and your wife's name was merely omitted, then you have no issue "adding her to the deed" because she is already 50% owner of the property without being named as a grantee on the document vesting to you. 

Assuming no separate or individual language, you may simply include her as your spouse as a grantor when selling.

Please keep in mind that I am not offering legal advice, I am not an attorney, and not licensed to practice law. Get an attorney or title company to look over your transaction. There are a lot of points where a mistake can be made, and this is one of the situations when "you don't know what you don't know" can come back and bite you. If you have a pretty simple transaction, some attorneys may only charge $75 for handling the paperwork. There is a local shop here that does them for me at this price. I know what I am doing, and I still hire it out. That is very cheap insurance my friend.

@Jason Jones

If a title company is involved in the transfer, they will almost certainly require your spouses signature absent evidence the the contrary that the property was legally deeded to you as separate property.  The title company will want to ensure your spouse extinguishes any potential possessory rights she may have under community property laws of Texas. 

She will either need to be on the deed or more likely sign a non-homestead affidavit

Originally posted by @Jason Jones :

I am selling a small piece of vacant land that is in my name but I purchased it while married to my spouse. I am now selling it and wondering if my wife needs to be on and sign the deed that will be conveyed. The property is in Texas and we live in Texas. I greatly appreciate any feedback or insights.

Texas is one of the community property states, so even though her name isn't on the deed, she owns half the property and will need to sign. 

Thank you all for your answers and feedback. Very helpful. 

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