At times, who gets what car is not an issue during divorce. When a couple each has their own vehicles, they may decide to each keep it and to continue making payments on any auto loans. Unfortunately, not everyone has two or more cars. If you are afraid you'll get stuck without transportation if you divorce, read on to learn about your options.
Who Needs the Car the Most?
If neither of you can agree about who can use the car during separation, you might have to take things before a judge. In most cases, the judge will determine who shows the greatest need for the car. Children often get priority handling during a divorce, so who they live with during the separation will have a lot to do with who gets the car. Other deciding factors include who's work is supporting children and who uses the car to go to the doctor if they or the child has a chronic condition. If the need is met and the judge makes a decision, then it's done using a temporary order. That order usually expires when the divorce is final and only covers the time of separation. Temporary orders can also cover child support, spousal support, debt payments, living arraignments, and more. If you need an order, then talk to your divorce lawyer about requesting a hearing. In addition to deciding who gets to use the single car during separation, orders can also take care of the following issues:
- To stop anyone from disposing of the vehicle.
- To stop anyone from canceling the automobile insurance.
- To stop anyone from disabling the car to prevent the other from using it (unfortunately, this happens more frequently than you might think).
- To ensure that the auto loan payments are made by a party during the separation.
Permanent Ownership of the Vehicle
When it comes to the final decree, the judge may take a more intense look at the needs of each spouse. As mentioned above, having care over minors might tip the scales. With the final decree also comes custody arrangements. If parents decide on who has physical custody, then that same parent may be in line to get the car. They may also have to take care of loan payments and insurance, though. A few other issues that might weigh in favor of one spouse over the other are:
- Which spouse purchased the car, has been making the payments, etc?
- Which spouse makes more income. The other spouse might be awarded the car since the other spouse can more easily afford to purchase their own car.
- Is public transportation available?
To find more about resolving your car issues during separation and divorce, speak to a divorce lawyer like Bray & Johnson Law Firm.