What to do if my wife and I are separated and she totaled a vehicle that was in both of our names?

My wife and I have been separated for over 4 1/2 years. We never finalized our divorce or settled property. She totaled a vehicle that was in both of our names. Am I legally entitled to a part of the almost 14k? Doesn’t the check have to be cut to both of us?

Asked on September 9, 2012 under Family Law, Louisiana

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have an interest in the 14k, but to assert your interest in the property, you would need to file for divorce.  If you already had divorce proceeding pending, then you would need to get that moving again so that you could make a claim for part of the 14k before she uses it to buy a new vehicle.  Louisiana has a fifty-fifty or equal division standard, which means the courts are supposed to value property and divide it as equally as possible.  If the court finds that you already have 14k worth of assets, then the court may allow her too keep the entire 14k.  Even if you don't get a portion of the 14k, you still want to finalize the divorce so that you do not get saddled with any of her debts or liabilities.

The second part of your question is regarding  the check.... the insurance company is only required to submit a check to their insured or the person making the claim (for example, if she had hit another person, the other person would be a claimant)  If you're neither, then they do not have to include you in on the check.


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