If my wife and I are seperated, can I take the vehicle she has that is in my name?

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If my wife and I are seperated, can I take the vehicle she has that is in my name?

Asked on April 14, 2011 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, not necessarily. Separation of assets is a tricky subject in legal and informal separations and divorces. Just because the vehicle is in your name doesn't necessarily mean you can take it without consequences. You have to think about the fact marital assets are most likely used to pay the insurance and yearly registration and that both parties are probably on the insurance to drive the vehicle. Your wife certainly would not wish to open herself to personal liability if you unilaterally take the vehicle, do not change the insurance by taking her off with her permission and do not reimburse her for her portion of the costs she paid. If you each have a vehicle, you better make sure who gets what and put it in writing or have the court make an order of separation of some assets. As to a related matter, if she has small children, she would most likely get to keep the car if this is the only family car.


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