Will I lose my car in my parents’ divorce?

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Will I lose my car in my parents’ divorce?

My parents are divorcing and my dad bought me a car in 2014, but its still in his name title, insured to him, registered to him. However, for the past 2 years I have been making monthly payments of 396.42 to the lien holder, CarMax and now owe a little over $13,000 on the car. I’ve tried to get loans to pay off the remaining balance but haven’t been approved and now my parents are telling me a judge would have to approve something like this because the car is an asset of my dad. So, will I lose the car or can something be worked out?

Asked on May 20, 2017 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can lose the "your" car--because legally, it is NOT your car. If it is titled, registered, etc. to your father, it is his car, and therefore it is a marital asset that will be distributed during the divorce. Regardless of how much you have paid for the car (which could be seen as payments made in exchange for the right to use the car--i.e. you paying the note or financing as a condition of getting use, not ownership, of the vehicle), if the car is not in your name, it is not your car, and you have no right to it.


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