Are cars Jconsidered to be joint marital property?

UPDATED: May 28, 2012

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Are cars Jconsidered to be joint marital property?

My husband and I are separated. My car is in my name but he came and took it from a grocery store parking lot last night. He says it’s joint marital property and I can’t do anything. How do I get my car back? Is he right?

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina


Michael Gainer / Michael J. Gainer, Attorney At Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In Washington state, most property acquired during marriage, including a car, is community property.  Many states have similar laws.  If your name is the only one on it and you are separated, you could just go and take it back when he's not around or call the police and report it - "my ex-husband stole my car; it's in my name only."  If you take or get it back, you might consider getting one of those anti-theft bars to put on the steering wheel or some other anti-theft device so he can't just take it back. 

You may consider filing for divorce or legal separation and asking the court to immediately award you use of the car.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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