What can I do if my father and I got into a disagreement and he will not give me my car keys?

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What can I do if my father and I got into a disagreement and he will not give me my car keys?

The car is co-signed in my name and his name. He is also refusing to get a key made for me since my car only came with one key. Do I have the right to get a key made if I ask for one and does he have to make one if I ask for one? I don’t want to take my family to court but I need a car. Everything that is in his name is also in my name. We are both adults. What rights do I have as to the keys and to get a key made upon request?

Asked on December 18, 2015 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

One owner (e.g of a car) cannot exclude the other owner from possession or use of that property, and cannot also stop the other owner from making duplicate keys, etc. You have a legal right to use the car and to have a spare key made, but if he will not voluntarily give you the car and key, your only way to enforce your rights would be to sue him: a lawsuit, and getting a court order or judgment in your favor, is how you legally enforce your rights against other people. There is no other legal way to do this.


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