My phone is in my husband’s name, but I pay the bills, who is the technical owner?

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My phone is in my husband’s name, but I pay the bills, who is the technical owner?

After fighting with my husband tonight, he took my cell phone and refuses to give
it back as he is listed as the owner on the account. However, the number that I
have had and used since before our marriage is the main number on the account.
The automatic billing is also set up in the checking account that I’ve had since
before we were married. Who is the legal owner of the phone? If I’m not the
owner, do I have any rights to the financials that I’ve paid towards the bill?

Asked on March 8, 2019 under Family Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The person's in whose name it is owns the phone (as the person to whom a car or house is titled would own those things). Paying the bill does not give you ownership of something which is in another person's name.
Get yourself another phone not tied to him, even if it is a pre-paid phone or one of those where you periodically buy additional minutes.


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