Car Loans in a Divorce?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Car Loans in a Divorce?

So my soon-to-be ex-husband has filed for a divorce or so he says. I haven’t received paperwork. We lived in Colorado. And now I am back in NM. He’s still in CO. He got me a car under his name only when we were married. So I’m not on the loan or registration at all. I agreed to make payment on it and I even said we can do a legal document stating hat I’m responsible. Ever since I moved back home he threatens to take the car and starts being verbally abusive. I don’t need the car but I agreed to not hurt his credit. Now, with him

always changing his mind and trying to take it and then saying I have to pay it it’s my responsibility, I don’t want the car or to deal with him anymore. Am I responsible for it? Would the judge make me responsible?

Asked on July 17, 2018 under Family Law, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Colorado is an equitable distribution state. That means that even if a loan is in the name of only spouse, both spouses may be responsible for it. The responsibility for the loan is not necessarily divided equally: the court will look to various factors, such as length of marriage, who makes use of the car, to whom the car is titled, relative income and earning potential, etc. to decide how responsible each spouse is for the loan. If the car is titled in his name and he wants the car, there is a good chance the court may make him solely responsible for the loan--but it does not have to; it can make you partially responsible if under all the circumstances and facts, it considers that more equitable or fair. If this goes before the court in your divorce (i.e. if you and he cannot resolve this by an agreement between the two of you), the judge will look at the facts and decide who, in all fairness, should be responsible for the loan to what degree.

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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