What rights to doI have to proceeds from the sale of a boat thatI helped to pay for?

UPDATED: Apr 7, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Apr 7, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What rights to doI have to proceeds from the sale of a boat thatI helped to pay for?

I was engaged for 5 years. We had joint bank accounts for the last year we were together. We broke up a few months ago but still have a house and some personal property together (that we are trying to get rid of). We purchased a boat and paid for it out of our joint account. I actually have the check for the boat that I signed. I came home today to find that my ex had sold the boat without my permission. He stated that it was his and only his name was on the title. He is refusing to split the proceeds with me. Do I have any legal recourse since I paid for half of the boat?

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Family Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You *might* be able to establish and interest in the boat, if you can show that (1) you paid money for or towards it and (2) the intention was that you would have or get an ownership interest in it. When an engaged couple pays for an item out of their joint bank account, it would be logical or reasonable that it's meant that both should own it, so you may be able to do this. However, recognize that it's still an uphill battle, since--if his name was the only one on the title--the presumption will be that he was the sole owner. (Since  you were not married, there's no division of assets as there would be when a marriage is ended by divorce.) Knowing that there's at least a reasonable chance of losing, you need to balance what you hope to recover vs. the cost of a lawsuit, which is what you'd need to bring to try to get your portion.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption