Who Gets the Car In the Divorce?

Who gets a car after a divorce? When it comes to separating your legal union with your partner and finally taking that jump, you quickly realize that assets become a big part of the equation. Depending on the state you live in, everything that each party has is potentially up for grabs. You’ve heard of people attempting to hide assets in order to avoid giving them to the other person. It doesn’t always work (it nearly never works), but the reason that people do it is simple: they want to avoid the other person getting it!


During the divorce mediation process, each party wants to know who gets what when it comes to divorce – in this case, the car?

Of course, there is not a set answer to this, such as ‘the wife’ or ‘the husband’. In the courts, it can vary. What state you live in will also affect how the outcome falls. For instance, many states have laws that pertain to community property. What this term means is that all property, including cars, that were purchased after you were married and before you were separated or divorced are in fact considered to be of mutual ownership– i.e., community property.

There are nine states that have the community property law. They are AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI, and AR it exists but it’s optional. If you have resided in one of these states while getting married, the property that you acquired during marriage will be split evenly between the two of you. That’s right, straight down the line, 50 and 50 percent, no if’s, and’s, or buts.

You may not like it, but that’s one of the risks that comes along with being married in certain states. Many couples never even consider that the state they live in may have laws that apply to them– actually, many couples may think that they never are going to get divorced too, so the state they live in ‘doesn’t matter’. Unfortunately, most of the couples that end up getting divorced never think that they are going to get divorced– but their assets get split up evenly all the same.

You may also live in a state that follows the law of equitable distribution. This means that the divorcing parties can agree to split the property the way they want to, they can have an arrangement they like instead of being forced to give half of everything. The problem with this is that many couples cannot decide or will not compromise on how they want to divide the assets. If they cannot decide after counseling and agree on a division they feel is fair, it may be up to a judge– and both parties may feel unhappy about the end result. All states that do not divide property 50-50 are equitable.

Splitting a car counts as a division of assets. However, you cannot split a car in two. Someone has to get it– either by sharing or splitting the property’s value. This means that you have to head to Kelley Blue Book and whoever keeps the car may have to buy out the other person for half or whatever is set. They may even have to transfer some other property worth the equivalent. In equitable distribution states, the judge may think that one party should get the car over the other because of a greater need. It may go to the person that requires transportation and the other person will be required to cough up half or a set percentage of the value to buy them out.

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