If my ex-fiance gave me a car as a gift that is still in his name, what canI do to keep him from taking it?

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If my ex-fiance gave me a car as a gift that is still in his name, what canI do to keep him from taking it?

He gave me the car a year ago so he had me sell mine. He was the only one providing income for a year while Istayed home with my son. I am starting a job tomorrow but am afraid if I lose my transportation I will also lose my job and apartment, etc.

Asked on September 9, 2010 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If something is truly gifted, not loaned, the giver cannot take it back. Once gifted, it is the property of the recipient. The question though is (1) was it actually gifted; and (2) if the giver disputes that it was a gift, can you prove that it was? In this case, the fact that  it is still in his name would tend to support a claim--if he makes it--that the car was simply loaned to you or made available to you while the two of you were together. So if you could show that the car was a gift, you could keep; but that may be very difficult to show (especially if he also paid for insurance, or made auto payments; or paid for gas and maintenance, etc., in addition having the car still in his name). Since it's in his name, legally he is the owner; it would be a very uphill battle to show that the car was a gift  when it was never transfered to your name during a whole year.


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