ED and Automobile


#1

Two years ago I purchased a new vehicle. The purchase was made using two trade-ins, one my wife’s old car, and two was a car I was given. The vehicle is in my name only with my mother listed on the title as the lien holder. My wife has been driving this car as her daily vehicle and we use it as our family vehicle, is she entitled to any part of this automobile? Also I should mention that there is an outstanding debt on this vehicle, in fact for pretty much the full remaining purchase amount, what affect does this have if any? Can my mother just repo the car since only one or two payments have been made and turn around and gift it to me?


#2

You can sell anything you want at any time, technically. However, you need to know that there may be consequences if you are later challenged by your ex in an equitable distribution. Your ex could challenge the transfer (sale) as wasting of marital assets. If the judge agrees with your ex, then those monies/property will be put back into the marital pot and she will receive her share of those items as if you never sold/spent them. If one party alleges waste, it is up to the judge to decide. Giving or selling marital property to anyone right before a separation will almost certainly be viewed as an attempt to avoid distribution, and in this case it would be pretty easy for for to show this in court if your mom turns around and gives it to you. Your wife does have a marital interest in the car, and it will need to be accounted for in the equitable distribution.