One of the most exciting life achievements is buying a home with your loved one but what happens when you need to transfer property ownership to or from your spouse?

There are many reasons you might need to do this, including:

  • Wanting to add your spouse to your current home
  • Removing your spouse after a relationship break down
  • Lifestyle changes prompting you to protect the family home by changing property ownership between spouses

Transferring all or part ownership of your matrimonial home can be a quite lengthy and complex transaction.

However, your conveyancer can certainly help in guiding you through the process to make sure you cover all the important details when transferring a house title to or from your spouse.

What is defined as the matrimonial home in South Australia?

Firstly, let’s define what is considered your matrimonial home.

A matrimonial home is the shared principle place of residence of a married or defacto couple or the most recent principle place of resident of a separated couple.

Please refer to the Revenue SA website for the full legal definition.

What stamp duty is payable when you transfer property ownership with a spouse?

Transferring your matrimonial home is usually FREE OF STAMP DUTY subject to a number of conditions.

Some of the conditions that are to be met but are not limited to include:

  • The couple are or were recently married to each other
  • The couple have been living or recently living in a defacto relationship and cohabitating in a bone-fide relationship for no less than 3 years. This includes same-sex defacto couples.

If you meet the above criteria, your next call is to your conveyancer.

We will be able to discuss the transaction with you and give you further advice on what to do next.

When I transfer property ownership, do I need a lawyer?

Depending on your individual situation, we may suggest that you speak to a Family Law expert.

There can be quite a few repercussions down the track if the transfer is not done in accordance with family law and your spouse may have legal recourse to take further action after the transfer is complete.

When you do need to transfer a house title after separation, the emotions will likely be high, which is when oversights can happen.

Your conveyancer will be able to recommend someone for you to speak to if you do not already have representation.

Does my bank need to get involved?

If the transfer is being completed for Asset Protection, you might want to have a chat with your lending institution to confirm they will consent to the change without changing your lending structure; or your accountant to make sure there are no further Taxation implications.

As mentioned it’s really important to arm yourself with the right advice from the right people.

If the Transaction is not completed correctly, it can turn into a very expensive and emotionally draining exercise.

Contact any of our Eckermann Conveyancers offices throughout South Australia, if you’d like to ask more questions about how to transfer property title between family members,  or away from them.


Image: Just Married by Reuben Strayer via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0