If I am separated from my spousecanIsell a car that is registered in my name but that she is currently using?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010

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If I am separated from my spousecanIsell a car that is registered in my name but that she is currently using?

My (almost ex) spouse is driving a car that is registered and titled in my name. She also has a second car registered and titled in her name. I would like to take possession of the car registered to me to sell it to pay mounting legal fees. I checked with the magistrate in my town and he told me that I may take possession of the car at any time as I am the registered owner and I am liable for it. Can I sell it and keep the money or must I give her half of the proceeds as it may be considered “marital property”? As she opposes the sale of the car – can she stop the sale?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Family Law, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

When you say the magistrate do you mean the person in charge of your case in the court?  Has a formal application been made as to the charachterization of the property as separate property?  I really would not suggest that you just take the vehicle even if it is legally yours.  I would suggest that you in some way have the taking "sanctioned" by the court or through your attorney and her attorney, have it turned over.  It is going to be an issue soon that you will need to have the car inspected and re-registered while in her possession.  And what does your agreement state as to the car anyway?  That is your leverage in all of this but do it on the up and up.  Good luck.

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