What to do with your car title after divorce?
If you divorce your spouse, you must divide assets that are “marital assets.” The court will consider cars and similar vehicles marital property in most cases. If each of you own separate vehicles, it should be easy to split these assets. However, if you share a vehicle, there are more questions.
How do cars get divided in divorce?
First, identify who is the owner of the vehicle’s title: your spouse, you, or both. If the title is not in your spouse’s name but was acquired during your marriage, most states will still consider it marital property. However, if your ex owned the car before you married, the ex can keep the title in their names.
You can still decide what to make of the car’s title after your divorce is finalized. This means that you and your spouse can decide jointly who gets the car. This could be noted in the separation agreement. The vehicle agreement may not be reached if the divorce proceedings are contentious. In this situation, the court will decide who gets it.
What effect does my location have on who gets the car and how do I make it work?
It is possible that the state where you live will affect who gets the car. This depends on whether it is an equitable distribution or community property state. If you are in an equitable distribution state, the judge will divide the property in a fair and balanced way. This decision is based upon many factors, including who owns the vehicle.
Unless the spouses agree otherwise, marital property and assets are divided in half in a state that is community property. Nine states are considered community property states.
- New Mexico
If you cannot agree on a car’s division, the judge will most likely determine who gets it in a state of community property. In order to be fair, the judge will give the other spouse any property that is similar or equal in value.
What happens to a joint loan car in divorce proceedings?
If you have a joint auto loan with your spouse, the lender will view it as a jointly owned car loan even after your divorce. For example, if you and your spouse are awarded the car in a divorce agreement, the lender may still pursue the parties for non-payments. Lenders won’t refinance loans that allow an ex to take their name off the title.
If your spouse was awarded the vehicle and you want them to continue paying the loan, you might place a statement in the divorce decree. This would give you the power to seize the car from your ex-spouse if they fail to pay. If your ex-spouse fails to make necessary car payments, you can ask the judge to declare them contemptuous of court.
How do you change your car’s title after a divorce.
It is very simple to transfer your car title from one individual to another or to switch from a joint title for one spouse. First, take your title to the DMV in the state. You will need to bring a lien waiver document with you to the DMV in case there are any liens on the vehicle’s title. Some states will accept a standard version of the divorce decree to prove your claim if a judge awards you the car. Your ex-spouse may sign the title, but you will still need their signature. The title must be signed by you before it can be submitted to the DMV. A new title will be issued by your state DMV. (Make sure that you also have proof of insurance.
Transferring a car’s title to your ex-spouse
If you are required to transfer a joint property to your spouse, your ex-spouse will need to apply for a new title. You can sign the title to confirm your agreement with the transfer.
You can remove your ex-spouse (from your car title)
You can reverse the steps if you want to get rid of your ex-spouse off a car title that is yours. Complete a new title for your car and bring it to the DMV. Although the title will need to be signed by both you and your ex in front of an notary, most states will accept a divorce certificate as proof that a vehicle was transferred from one spouse.
FAQs regarding car titles and divorcing
What happens if I divorce and my car is not available?
If your car was purchased before the marriage started, you might be able to get it sold during your divorce. But, marital property is any vehicle bought during the marriage. Your spouse would have to agree to the sale of the vehicle. In the event of divorce proceedings, your spouse would need to agree to split the proceeds.
The situation after divorce will depend on who is named on the title. If you have a joint vehicle title, you can freely sell it whenever you wish. However, selling a car that is still financed has some problems. Your ex-spouse and you would both be responsible to make the monthly payments until your loan is paid off. If the lender agrees to refinance, your ex-spouse can be removed from the loan.
What if my spouse refuses signing the car over to you?
If your ex-spouse refuses sign over the car to you, legal recourse may be possible. Your ex-spouse must follow the divorce decree and sign the car over to you. If they refuse to sign over the car, you can ask for contempt proceedings against your ex. If the judge agrees, the court will allow you to take possession of your vehicle, issue fines against you, and make sure that your ex pays all attorney fees.