Can I return leased car if my husband’s name on the lease?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I return leased car if my husband’s name on the lease?

He signed the judgment settlement agreement stating the car is for me. In order for me to refinance and remove his name, he needs to sign but he doesn’t want to sign. A car dealership said they could pay the remaining payments of the lease 24 payments and that I could return the car before the lease end date. Then I would be able to get another car just under my name. The divorce papers are signed already and filed at the court. The dissolution of marriage is final in about 6 weeks. Can I pay off the lease and return the car without telling him today or do I have to wait until it is finalized?

Asked on January 26, 2018 under Family Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your divorce has no bearing on the lease, which is a contract between him and the company (car dealership, car manufacturer, or financing arm) which leased him the car. You cannot return the car without his consent, since you are not the lessee and have no legal standing in regards to the case. You need him to either cooperate now or you need a court to order him to act in accordance with the settelement, but whether itis voluntary on his part or coerced by the court, *he*, as the person on the lease, must be involved in returning the car and you can't do so without him.

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