Are cars Jconsidered to be joint marital property?

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Are cars Jconsidered to be joint marital property?

My husband and I are separated. My car is in my name but he came and took it from a grocery store parking lot last night. He says it’s joint marital property and I can’t do anything. How do I get my car back? Is he right?

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

Michael Gainer / Michael J. Gainer, Attorney At Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In Washington state, most property acquired during marriage, including a car, is community property.  Many states have similar laws.  If your name is the only one on it and you are separated, you could just go and take it back when he's not around or call the police and report it - "my ex-husband stole my car; it's in my name only."  If you take or get it back, you might consider getting one of those anti-theft bars to put on the steering wheel or some other anti-theft device so he can't just take it back. 

You may consider filing for divorce or legal separation and asking the court to immediately award you use of the car.


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