Your Spouse May Own Your Family Vehicle, But Here Are Some Ways To Get It
The process of dividing assets during a divorce gives you the ability to fight for the things that you need and that you want. If you jointly own an asset exclusively with your spouse, there are many ways that your respective attorneys can work out how to divide it. Don't give up on fighting for items that your spouse has in his or her name. A prime example is a vehicle; while it might seem logical to think that because you spouse's name is on the vehicle's paperwork, he or she will automatically get it. This isn't true. If you want to make a claim for the vehicle, here are some points to emphasize.
He/She Bought It With You In Mind
Sometimes, a married person will buy a vehicle with his or her spouse in mind, but have his or her own name on the vehicle's ownership. This may sometimes be simplest at the time, especially if your spouse bought the vehicle for you as a gift. It's possible that your spouse bought the vehicle in question for you to exclusively use. There are many ways to prove such a statement, and your attorney will use this proof to help you make a claim to the vehicle.
You Need It For A Specific Purpose
Evaluate any specific attributes that the vehicle offers and how they might benefit you. For example, if it's likely that you'll be getting custody of the children with an arrangement that will have them living with you a significant percentage of the time, you'll likely want the family's minivan — even if it's in your spouse's name. Your attorney will argue that the other family vehicle — perhaps a sub-compact car — is of little value to you when you'll be the one with the kids most of the time.
You've Traditionally Been The Primary Driver
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the vehicle in question, you can make a reasonable claim for it by arguing that you've been the primary driver. Perhaps you've driven the vehicle daily, while your spouse has done so only a couple of times a month. In fact, you and your spouse may have frequently referred to the vehicle as "your car" in text messages and emails, which you should share with your attorney. Fighting with your spouse over a vehicle might seem petty, but in the challenging landscape of a divorce, it's important to look out for your own interests.
Contact a divorce attorney for more help.