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Cars and Divorce: Is It Considered a Marital Asset or Not?

David P. Badanes, Esq.

At least on Long Island, typically each spouse has their “own” car that they typically drive. However, although you may view the car as “yours”, usually, the car is considered a marital asset and is owned by both the husband and the wife.

If the car was purchased after the marriage, it does not matter that title is in one party’s name. The car is considered a marital asset and is owned by both parties. Similarly, if there is a car loan associated with the car, then, although the car loan may be in one party’s name, the loan is considered a marital liability and will need to be considered in the divorce.

However, if the car was purchased prior to the marriage, then most likely, the person who bought the car, owns it outright, and it is not a marital asset.

If you lease the car, then neither party “owns” the car, as the leasing company is the owner of the vehicle. However, which party is responsible for paying the lease will need to be determined.

As to the value of the cars, in many divorces, the divorcing couple decides that although their respective cars may not have the exact equal value, they will each keep their respective cars (i.e., the ones they tend to drive each day). However, as with any asset, if the value of the cars is widely different, then the party that is keeping the car with greater value may need to provide compensation to the other party.

If there is a transfer of one or more cars to either party, most likely the transfer will be as a non-taxable transfer.

The Badanes Law Office has helped numerous clients in their divorce and in deciding everyday issues like dividing cars. We sure you understand your options and make an informed choice when it comes to cars and divorce. If you are thinking of getting divorced, contact us or call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Cars and Divorce: Is It Considered a Marital Asset or Not?