It is definitely a question related to closings. It's purpose it to prove that the marriage is still valid and thus the property is protected from various types of liens and claims, etc.
Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando)
Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.
In Florida, a married couple in title to a parcel of land forms what’s known as a “Tenancy by the Entirety”. This form of tenancy or ownership, in effect, severs individual rights and replaces it with joint ownership (the husband and wife as a couple own the property and act as one entity). From a lien standpoint, this means that judgments filed against one of the spouses does not attach to the property – it must be filed against both the husband and wife to be considered.
A Title Agent will need proof that the Tenancy by the Entirety is still valid (the couple is still married), this comes in the form of a Continuous Marriage Affidavit. Liens that will not attach if filed against (naming as defendant) only one spouse include:
Judgments (not in favor of the USA)
Child Support Liens
Other liens take priority to a Tenancy by the Entirety and would still attach if filed against only one spouse, including: Federal Tax Liens, Judgments in favor of the USA and Code Endorsement Liens. Additionally, property specific liens such as condominium liens, mortgages and construction liens run with the property and are not affected by tenancy status.
Most underwriters will allow a Continuous Marriage Affidavit to be used even if the couple was not married at the time they took title.
You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.