Is it legal for my husband to disable my vehicle so that I cannot leave?

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Is it legal for my husband to disable my vehicle so that I cannot leave?

My husband and I have been experiencing issues and we have been fighting pretty badly (verbally). After we put our daughter to bed and things were getting heated again, I stated that one of us needed to leave. When he refused, I said that was willing to do so. I

was going to go to a friend’s house to cool down for the night. However, he went out to the garage and disabled my car so that I could not leave. Is this legal?

Asked on December 5, 2016 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If it is his car, too (i.e. you both own it), he does have the right to disable it--or rather, as much right to decide what to do to or with the car as you do. But that does not stop you from leaving: you could call a cab, Uber, Lyft, a friend, a family member, walk to a bus stop, etc. He cannot physically restrain you from leaving, but that is a separate issue from what he can and cannot do with a family vehicle.


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