When it comes to assets in divorce proceedings, the waters can get muddy. You are divorcing, but the cars are in his name? Does this leave you without a car trying to figure out your credit score to quickly get a new car? It doesn’t have to. There are many things to consider when the cars are in his name and you are going through a divorce.
The good news is that no matter whose name the title is in, it can easily be changed over to someone else’s name. The bad news is that sometimes the spouse does not want to let go of what they believe is rightfully theirs. If the spouse bought the car before you were married, it is legally theirs. If the car was bought during your marriage, the judge will look into how it was paid for. No matter whose name is on the titles of the cars, you can still be entitled to them because everything bought with your combined incomes while married is a marital asset. Most marriages have joint banking accounts where money flows in and out. Though the cars might be in one spouse’s name, your money went into them meaning they will be part of the divided assets.
In some states if the spouse is determined to be “at fault” for the divorce for cheating or abuse you can ask for more than half of your marital assets. Many states are “no fault” states meaning things are split down the middle.If each spouse agrees that you can have the car or cars, you sign a Marital Settlement Agreement in many cases that says the car is now yours without any other fighting. If the disagreement lingers over a long period of time and you can prove you need the car for obligations, you can ask for a temporary order giving you the car. If he resists, you can go through mediation to talk about it. The waters get even more muddy when children and jobs are involved.
Speak to your attorney about every possible turn you can make in this matter so you aren’t left without a vehicle. Division of your assets can get tricky even when things are in one or the other of your names. Oftentimes one spouse will claim assets are theirs, and without proper paperwork, there is simply no way to prove otherwise. Assets are marital property no matter what, but specifications can change the ruling. If you have been using the car for transporting your children to school or for necessary obligations, you can try the defense that since you are the user of the car, you should get it.
If the spouse still owes money on the car, he will have to change all of the paperwork over to you and you will have to then make the payments. It is best to sign an agreement stating the terms of the title being in your name and how you will pay it off in the future. In most cases however, you will have to qualify for financing and start a new auto loan if your goal is to have the car in your name only.
Remember to keep all signed paperwork of an agreement reached. If the spouse decided to take you to court in the future trying to claim you stole the car, you will have proof it was signed over to you.
Everything in a divorce begins with an agreement. If you and your spouse are able to come to civil agreements in all of your assets and business arrangements, things will go quickly and cost less.