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Can she take it?

Discussion in 'Marriage, Engagement, Domestic Partnerships' started by johnny5, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My brother left his wife (filed divorce but hadn't gone to court), he was staying with his current girlfriend for nearly a year. During the summer my brother and his girlfriend purchased a brand new car with cash, some cash was his that he just got from a workmans comp settlement and some was hers. Everything was fine until he recently passed away unexpected. The car is titled and registered under his girlfriends name but we feel his legal wife is trying to come up with ways to get it. My brother told us several months before his death that his lawyer said that his wife couldn't touch his settlement money, but who knows. Can his wife file a lawsuit for the vehical and what are the odds his wife could win?

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  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    They were not divorced; his wife may indeed be able to stake a claim.
     
  3. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Even though he has never been the legal owner? How could they even prove if he even actually paid for it with his money? I hear and read so many stories about people putting vehicles in other people's names for whatever reason, then later on the original person to wants the car back but the "legal" owner won't return it. The person whom signed the car over is always told "looks like you're out of a car, next time think twice". What makes this case any different?

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  4. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Because it was purchased during the marriage, and using what is known as marital funds.

    Marriage is different from your example. Very different.
     
  5. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So it makes no difference that she legally owns it and used some of her money on it? And for what I've been told, workman's comp settlements are considered separate funds especially if its for pain and suffering, not so much for lost wages or future hospital bills.

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  6. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I understand that these are all "what ifs" and we are going to consult a lawyer but I just had this thought.
    Is the girlfriend and her car basically held hostage until a suit is filed if one ever does get filed? What if she decided to sell it or what happens if an automobile accident occurs? I mean, there's nothing we can do but sit and wait...for how long? The wife has told me time and time again that she wants no part of the car, than the next day she phones the girlfriend while asking odd questions about it...its just weird and quite frankly we are getting tired of dealing with it...the unknown that is. The car was bought with untraceable money, its not like he withdrew 10k from his joint bank account and turned around and spent 10k on a car. I just can see how anyone could prove that the girlfriend didn't buy it herself.

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  7. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    You can run it by a lawyer but the car may belong to the girl friend. Maine is not a community property state. (There are only a few.) It is known as a "common law property/true title" state. If one spouse bought a car & only his/her name was on the title, the car belongs to that person. Here - if the girl friend only is on the title & registration, the car may very well belong to her & her only.
     
  8. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry, my posts may not have been that clear but if what you say is true than than that's a good thing. We want the girl friend to keep the car, we are afraid the wife would somehow get the car and sell it for cash since its paid for out right...the wife is out to get anything she can.

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  9. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    It would be a good thing for the girl friend - yes.
     
  10. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That's great and exactly what we wanted to hear. We'll still consult a lawyer just for piece of mind but I wish there was something we could do to stop the borderline harassment. The wife is fine to me, quite pleasant actually but completely rotten to everyone else. She told me several times including twice last night that she wants nothing to do with the car but than she turns around and phones the girlfriend (from a private number of course) and asks odd questions, questions like "is the car insured, will you be registering it" we have no idea why shed ask such questions, she isn't exactly playing with a full deck. We just hope it all pans out OK and by your post...gave us a little hope. :)

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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If the car is titled in the woman's name, it legally is her car.

    The nexus of payments would be very hard to prove, assuming they were even relevant.

    That said, if the woman has the title in her name, she need not explain to anyone why it is so titled, or how it was so titled.

    If the wife comes calling, the woman should tell here to leave, and promptly call the police and terminate the conversation.

    Less is more, and no one but a fool answers questions.
     
  12. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    I still think OP's brother should speak with an attorney.

    Even in Maine, I have seen some quite contrary decisions made regarding things purchased during the marriage.

    :cool:
     
  13. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    I suggested OP run it by an attorney but I believe there is a good chance it belongs to the girl friend with her name only on title & registration.
     
  14. johnny5

    johnny5 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My brother actually passed away a few months ago, this is why all of this is happening. There's just no way the wife could prove how it was purchased. It was purchased with cash saved at the girlfriends house, like I said before, its not like my brother withdrew a large sum from his joint account and made a purchase. He did however receive a settlement from a work injury which the wife will stake claim that is how it was bought. But she still couldn't prove that since that money was in the form of a check, cashed and it never was deposited in a bank.

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  15. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    I understand/agree but to be on the safe side you can always run it by an attorney. It "should" legally belong to the girl friend in my opinion.
     

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