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Wife has car in my name and wants a divorce can I take car back, before the divorce

Discussion in 'Divorce, Separation, Annulment' started by 773444, Mar 13, 2011.

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  1. 773444

    773444 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My wife is starting the divorce papers, and I would like to know. My wife wants to take over payments on car even though when I bought the car she could not be put on loan due to her credit and I have been making all payments on car, can I repo or take back the car rather than have her take over payments as I can't trust her to make the payments due to her past history plus do to the fact that more is owed on car than its worth she will not be able to get a loan on this car. The car is in my name only at no point does her name appear on any paper work on car.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If the car is in your name, (on the title), you can assert ownership. In California, however, it's a community property state. You're smart to not want to risk your credit with that deadbeat. But, you need a court decree awarding you the car. If you're smart, sell the car tomorrow. That eliminates a big problem later.
     
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  3. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Whose name is the car in? Is her name anywhere on the registration? Does it indicate you OR her, or you AND her? Taking possession of the vehicle and maintaining it - much less selling it - could be problematic if she has any say in the matter.
     
  4. 773444

    773444 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The car is in my name only, her name does not appear on any paper work on the car at all
     
  5. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    That makes things easier. But, until a judge says you have sole possession, if she has keys and access, then an argument can be made that she is authorized to drive and possess it. If you have it, then you should be good.
     
  6. 773444

    773444 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So if I take the car before paper work is filed and she does not have access to the car I am ok in taking it then as she now lives over a hour away from me ?
     
  7. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Arguably, yes.

    However, if she has keys she can always come back and take it again and the police will almost certainly be reluctant to try and charge her with the theft of community property that she has always had access to.

    Perhaps you should consider filing for a legal separation ASAP and asking that you receive the vehicle. If, however, that is her prime mode of transport and you already have another vehicle, I wouldn't count on a court agreeing. But, you can ask.

    Do you REALLY want to get into a war of dueling police calls and run the risk of one or both of you getting jacked up by the cops? It would probably be best to just expedite the separation and divorce to get some finality to the whole thing legally, rather than trying to play games that could just make you look like a vindictive S.O.B. to the court.
     
  8. 773444

    773444 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So if she keeps the car and the loan is in my name I am still responsble for payments if she does not make them and it hurts my credit there's nothing I can do? There is $18000 involed here
     
  9. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Sure there is. A judge will decide on the division of assets and liabilities.

    As mentioned, you can try to take the car back, but it may result in some frustrating exchanges with the cops as they get stuck in the middle of this civil matter. Maybe she will not report it "stolen" if you retrieve it ... maybe she will. The police will act on the report and haul you out at gunpoint if they catch you moving in a reportedly stolen vehicle, so keep that in mind if you do not give her a head's up.
     
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  10. d2much

    d2much New Member

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    I went thru the same thing except I was the female. My ex took everything out of the house including the kitchen sink. My clothes were destroyed, He called me a gold digger. How funny I wasn' allowed to have access to money except my $20.00 allowance a month. He controlled everything. Everything was in his name. He bouight me my car as a wedding gift with just his name. Divorce day went to court after he spent so much money on attorney. I stood up told the judge I want nothing but him to have the 3 life insurance policies taken. Yes he was trying to kill more for the money. He as far as had his truck burnt for money. I will tell you he was caught having his second affair. The mental and emotional abuse was tremendous. Yes I am guilty of wrecking the car, Putting old tires on it and replacing the top with an old. Get your car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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