Can She report the car as stolen?

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Can She report the car as stolen?

My brother is currently filing for a divorce, I am buying the car off of him. His
soon to be ex wife is threatening to report the car as stolen even though I
picked the keys up from her and have the messages of her telling me to pick it
up. Also my brother is the only one on the title since he bought the car before
they were technically married.

Asked on December 5, 2017 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If your brother owned the vehicle prior to marriage, then it is his separate property and he has the exclusive right to determine what happens to the vehicle.....generally.
However, if a divorce has been filed and the court has ordered the parties not to dispose of any property until the court officially declares who owns what property...then he cannot sell the vehicle. So, this would be the exception to your brother's right to sell the vehicle to you.
Your question goes a bit further however, concerning whether or not the soon to be ex- can report the vehicle as stolen.  The answer is that she does not have the legal right to do so if she is not the owner, but that may not stop her from at least attempting to report it stolen.  In that case, your brother will need to make sure he clarifies to law enforcement that this is his "separate property", not community property, and that he did, in fact, sell it to you.
 


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