When parties divorce, and one of the parties keeps the marital home, the other party typically signs a quitclaim deed. The quitclaim deed is a transfer of the property without a closing. The quitclaim deed signed pursuant to divorce contemplates that there is consideration for the signing party’s relinquishment of interest in the home. That consideration may be a cash buyout, or it may be traded for another asset such as retirement funds. Or, the signing party may have an inchoate interest in the home, which is the situation when the signing party did not contribute to the equity in the home but nominally has a legal interest in the residence because of being married to the equity owner.
Whatever the case, the Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment (SREDJ) is a document signed by the court, not one of the parties. The SREDJ encapsulates the provisions of the divorce decree that involve the real estate, without all the other provisions (including personal matters) so that it can be filed with the county recorder and provide clear title. The SREDJ is an alternative to the quitclaim deed that is especially helpful if, for whatever reason, the relinquishing party cannot or will not sign the quitclaim deed.