Since my husband is abusing me and I want to leave but the only car I have is in his name only, if I take it can he report that I stole it?

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Since my husband is abusing me and I want to leave but the only car I have is in his name only, if I take it can he report that I stole it?

Asked on September 10, 2012 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the car was aquired while you were married, then the car is considered community property-- even if the title is in his name only.  This means that you could not be convicted of stealing your own property.

With that being said-- it doesn't mean that he won't try to report it being stolen so that he can track you down.  So your options are this-- take the car and get to a safe place.  You may even want to contact the local police to let them know you have the car and why you have the car.  They may also have immediate access to a judge or program that can get you a temporary restraining order while you get relocated.

If you don't want to mess with the car... contact a domestic abuse hotline.  Here is a website for one program that you can call or email: http://www.mocadsv.org/How%20to%20Get%20Help.aspx     Many non-profits for domestic abuse will come and pick you up and get you to a shelter until you can get back on your feet.

Really.... the most important thing is your safety.  Do what you need to do to get out of the home so that you are no longer at risk.  Take the car or leave the car-- you can replace the car, but you can't replace who you are.


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