When it comes to dividing marital assets in a divorce, cars often become an issue of contention. Who should get the car? While the answer is not always clear-cut, there are multiple factors that determine who owns the car in a divorce. Some states employ community property laws, while others follow equitable distribution laws. In addition, the financial contribution made by each spouse can have an impact on who is able to keep the car after divorce proceedings have concluded. Ultimately, who owns the car in divorce depends on numerous legal and financial elements.
What happens to vehicles during the divorce process?
During a divorce process, the financial assets of the marriage, including vehicles, must be divided. Many times, couples will make an agreement on their own as to who will keep which vehicles; if this is not possible, then the court will get involved and typically use the equitable distribution principle to determine outcomes.
This means that students may take into account each party's contribution to the acquisition of the marital property', essentially splitting up any vehicles jointly owned in a way that best allocates ownership according to each party's contributions. In some rare cases, if a vehicle has been deemed a joint asset by both parties and agreed upon in court, it may then be sold off with its proceeds going towards paying for shared debts accrued during marriage or split equally between divorced partners.
Are vehicles property?
When it comes to vehicles, many people believe they are just property. While this line of thinking can work in some circumstances, the law tends to recognize vehicles as not simply property. This is because a vehicle often has additional regulations and laws attached to it that other types of personal property do not have. For example, there are road safety restrictions that involve checking a vehicle's condition on a regular basis in order to ensure safety on the roads; obtaining a license for operating the vehicle; and providing insurance for others who could be affected should an accident occur. It would seem difficult for these requirements to be applied to "property" in the same way they apply to vehicles. For these reasons, it is clear why courts often treat vehicles differently than normal “stuff”; acknowledging them as more than just possessions.
How is property divided in a divorce settlement?
Divorce settlements involve a lot of legal processes and decisions to determine how property will be divided between the two parties. Generally, both spouses must provide accurate information on any assets they own before the divorce is finalized. They must also agree on how all their jointly owned assets such as assets held in joint bank accounts and shared real estate should be split.
Decisions on who gets what will be based on the documents and other relevant information, including pre-marriage agreements or contracts signed by the spouses during their marriage. Depending on each state's laws, there may also be factors of contribution attributed to each spouse for any increase in value of assets acquired or accrued during the marriage that would have to be considered when determining the division of marital property. Ultimately, it is important for all parties to ensure an equitable outcome during such a difficult decision-making process. If a decision cannot be reached then ultimately the court will call for the fast sale of the vehicle for easier distribution of assets.
What if your Ex's name is on the title?
In a divorce where a spouse's name is on the title, both parties will generally have an equal interest in the property. Depending on the situation, that can mean that the spouse whose name is on the title may still be obligated to provide theoretical and financial support for the shared asset. In addition, if there is real estate involved, it will usually either be retained by one or both spouses as part of a fair settlement or sold and the profits divided following equitable distribution principles. If a decision to sell is made, it must be mandated by both parties before any transaction can take place.
How about collectible cars, who gets that?
A collectible car, for example, is not an insignificant asset - it can accumulate a great deal of worth over time and thus needs to be considered when handling divorce proceedings. In this case, the court will adjudicate who gets the car considering both parties' respective interests and the legal standing of the property.
If one party gets ownership, then the other may receive money owed as compensation. Other resolutions could include selling off the car itself or even involving a third-party mediator to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. Therefore, it's important to factor collectible cars into a divorce settlement to protect one's interest and ensure that fairness prevails throughout the proceedings.
Who gets to pay the auto loan in a divorce?
In many states, the vehicle itself will be considered as marital property, and thus will be split between the two parties in whatever arrangement they agree upon. For example, one spouse could make all payments while owning the car, or both parties could continue to own it jointly but only one person take over responsibility for making payments.
If a loan was taken out specifically for one person prior to marriage, then only that person would need to pay off the loan. Discussions about an auto loan are best had with a lawyer skilled in family law so that you can ensure a fair outcome based on local regulations.