Who Gets to Keep the Car in a Divorce in California?

Which person will have the privilege of keeping the family vehicle during the divorce?  Many people have difficult financial choices to make, which makes budgets extra tight. Some family members in households only have one car or use the buses to get from one place to another. When a husband and wife decide to file for divorce, they both need to decide who will take the family vehicle. Dividing up the family property is one of the most fought over problems during a split. When it comes to custody issues, it all depends on California laws.  

Dividing Up the Property

Dividing up the property during a divorce can be a complicated issue since it is decided by the state of California. If the two divorcees agree automatically as to who gets what, they are welcome to agree on their own terms. We suggest that you retain a lawyer to get what you need in accordance with California laws. Our experienced family law attorneys will inform you about the roles of dividing your property during the break up and how to get you what you need!

Most states adhere to common law as a guideline. For example, if the husband bought and completely paid off the vehicle, then the husband owns the vehicle. If the former husband and wife have both of their names on title, each person is considered fifty percent the owner of the car. Items that are received throughout the marriage is divided up in half during the split. But this doesn’t include the things that were received as an inheritance prior to getting marries. Laws regarding community property see the couple as both contributing to the legal binding, so the courts aim to give our out the property in an equal manner. 

Although this distributions seems uncomplicated, it can get complex when one person wants to get the family car. Since California is a community property state, the husband or wife who makes the best case will win. For instance, one of the spouses could say that the car is important for them to have because they cannot take public transportation due to not being able to walk. A mother who works from home could say that they need the car to take the children to school or soccer practice.

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If one spouse has made the most payments on the car whether it is bought or leased out, this could lead to the courts giving the car to the person who paid for it. If the car was owned by one of the spouses prior to getting married, then the car will more than likely be given to that spouse. But the opposing spouse might be able to get another item that it equivalent in value.

Arguments over the family car can get nasty, with one person taking it away and not giving it back. To prevent this issue from reaching this point, you should contact to our family law attorneys. We know how to handle the fair division of individual and marital property in divorce without the situation ending in an argument. 

Do you have a question about divorce laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration