Can a vehicle financed by and registered to me for my daughter-in-law to use be included in divorce paperwork if it states that she has exclusive rights to and use of the vehicle?

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Can a vehicle financed by and registered to me for my daughter-in-law to use be included in divorce paperwork if it states that she has exclusive rights to and use of the vehicle?

I’m very concerned that this spells trouble for me and I’m seeking advice on how to best protect my interests before this goes to court and is finalized. I’m angry that I may have to spend additional for a lawyer to protect myself from her claims.

Asked on March 30, 2019 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The best answer is "potentially."  If the title is in your name, you may need to intervene in the divorce action to demand the return of the vehicle that is in your name and to have it returned to you.  If you do not intervene, you run the risk of the divorce court delaring it to be her property and awarding it to her.   To protect your ownership interest, you have to continue to assert it.  
If your son's divorce attorney is comfortable asserting this as part of his defense, then you may not have to hire a separate attorney for that issue.  Some divorce attorneys are okay with telling a judge, "Hey, you can't award that to either spouse, because neither spouse owns that vehicle."  Some will require you to obtain separate representation.  Talk to your son's attorney before you put out the funds for a second attorney.


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