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How Do I Add My Spouse to My House Deed? How Do I Change Property from Community to Separate Property?

Under California law, if you want to add your spouse to the deed of your house, you would typically use a grant deed. This deed transfers ownership interest in the property from you to both you and your spouse jointly. You would need to prepare and sign the grant deed, then have it notarized and recorded with the county recorder’s office where the property is located. You can use an Interspousal Grant Deed. A Quitclaim Deed may also be used, but in California, the preferred method is an interspousal Grant Deed. Here is a link to the form interspousal grant deed.

What about if you want to transfer a property from community property (ownership by both spouses) to separate property (ownership by one spouse)?

You would use the same Interspousal Grant Deed. Note, a quitclaim deed by itself, does not meet the requirements of Family Law Section 852 and therefore does not automatically transmute community property to separate property or vice versa. However, a quitclaim deed can be used as evidence of the parties’ intent to transmute property if it is executed in conjunction with a valid written agreement that complies with Section 852. For more information on transmutation (changing property from separate to community or community to separate) read this post.