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Can One Spouse Take Both Cars in Divorce?

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Divorce is filled with uncertainties: Who's going to get the house? Will I get to keep the kids? Am I going to have to pay alimony? How will the court divide other assets such as cars?

The answer to this question essentially boils down to state property laws, and how the judge divides the assets between the two parties. Asset division can be one of the most contested portions of a divorce. Typically assets are split equitably between spouses, but this doesn't guarantee that each spouse will get one of the two cars.

If you are considering divorce, a local attorney might be able to help you assess your options. In order to prevail in your situation, it may help to have an attorney help you determine what your options are and the best route for you to take. To connect with a local attorney, just fill out the form below.

Assets Division Laws

The division of assets, barring a prenuptial agreement, is typically based on either community property (where assets are split 50/50) or equitable distribution (where each party gets a "fair" share) laws.

Typically, when the courts divide assets, they will try to make sure that disparities, such as one spouse receiving all vehicles and the other none, do not happen. But it is possible that the most equitable division of the assets involves one side receiving both cars, particularly if, for example, the other side receives the marital property without any mortgage payments left to make.

One situation where it is almost certain that one side will receive both cars is if there is a prenuptial agreement stipulating to that. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement signed by both parties to a marriage before the marriage begins. In the prenuptial agreement, often times the determination of what properties and portion of assets each spouse gets is determined, so the court doesn’t have to get as involved in the divorce.

Therefore, if you signed a prenuptial agreement which states that one party or the other will be entitled to both vehicles in the marriage upon divorce, then the courts would probably uphold the agreement and allow that part to receive both vehicles.

In some states, if one spouse owned both cars prior to the marriage, he or she may be allowed to keep both in the divorce, even without a prenuptial agreement.

If you are concerned that you might be left car-less after your divorce, you may want to talk to an attorney about your situation and how state laws could affect you.

The uncertainty of divorce can make a tough situation even more difficult. If you think you can't do it on your own, then talking with a divorce attorney might be a good option for you.