If title to a car is in my name butmy husbandwants to getit in ourdivorce when still owe on the loan, what will happen?

My husband and I have been separated for 9 months. We had 2 vehicles: an 11 year old van (given to me as a gift from parents) and a 2 year old car (which is in my name). I allowed him to keep vehicle for work as long as he had been making the payments on time. Now we are getting a divorce and he has not been making on time payments and he is behind. Since TX is a common law state, will I be able to take possession of the car?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Texas uses a "fair and equitable" standard for dividing property and debt.  Many people assume this means fifty-fifty, but it can also mean any other  percentage mixture.  The name of the title of the car is not controlling to how assets will divided.  If you purchased the car while you were married, it will most likely be considered community property.  This means that you do have a chance of getting the car back in the divorce.  A fairness factor in your favor is that he has defaulted on the payments and is thereby affecting your credit rating.  Many courts are not fond of snatch and grab repossession techniques during divorces.  If your divorce is still pending, but close to being resolved, try to get the car awarded to you through an agreed decree or final hearing.  If it's a messier divorce that's going to take a while, file a motion for temporary orders requesting that the car be returned to you so that you can catch up payments.  If you catch up payments before the car is returned, the court may order your husband to reimburse you, but if he's not paying the finance company, he's not likely to pay you.


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