Americans love their vehicles. Automobiles have come to represent freedom. When luxurious, they symbolize wealth and success.
In a divorce, every piece of marital property is subject to division, including cars. Whether you end up with a particular set of wheels depends on various factors.
Titles in both names
If a vehicle is in each of your names, it can be difficult to predict who will get it. You have a better chance of ending up with the car if your soon-to-be-ex does not have a license or is not on the insurance.
Cars as gifts
Anything you receive as a present is not common property. As such, it is exempt from splitting in divorce court. Your spouse might still be making payments on the vehicle. Judges frown on those who stop paying as a way of intentionally causing repossession.
Purchases after the relationship collapses
You might feel a right to any car bought during your separation and before the official divorce. Property division values often depend on the date of parting ways.
Improvements to vehicles
Another possibility is you already had cars at the start of your marriage. During your time together, your partner might perform upgrades. Examples include nitrous and race car brakes. The timing of these alterations means they are technically marital property. These improvements are intrinsic to their rides. Thus, the person not getting possession may be eligible for financial compensation.
Many factors enter into who gets ownership of cars during a divorce. Awareness of the elements surrounding your circumstances should provide enlightenment.