If my wife took our jointly owned car out of state and I am filing for divorce, does she have to return the vehicle?

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If my wife took our jointly owned car out of state and I am filing for divorce, does she have to return the vehicle?

She has never paid the car payments. She moved to FL; I’m in CA.

Asked on August 17, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This question can not be answered by a yes or no without more information about your lives, finances, etc.  As you know, California is a community property state and marital assets are owned equally regardless of who pays the payments.  Your income is joint income anyway.  Now, what were the circumstances of her taking the car?  Were you okay with it when she left and not because you are filing for divorce you want it back?  Is there another vehicle for you to use?  The car is half hers and if you are using the other car then it is not unreasonable for her to have that one and the court may in fact rule that way.  Seek legal help.  Good luck.


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