Can I as a co-buyer have my car repossessed in a divorce? 1 Answers as of November 09, 2010

My husband and i are going through a nasty separation. He has been fighting me on everything since I asked him to leave in January. He even tried to kill me Last April. He is on 10 years probation for right now. Every day since then, there has been a fight just for him to leave me and my kids alone. On Sunday night, he placed an order to have my truck repossessed. Can he do this? And do I have any rights at this point?

I have been the one making the notes since I got my truck, not him. But I am listed as the co-buyer. The credit union that we are financed through said since he is the primary buyer, he has the right to place the order. And he has to give me permission for me to get my car back, which was my primary means of transportation. What are my rights, or do I have any at this point?

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If you have a lawyer, tell them this information. If not, you need to get Temporary Orders from a Court and a Protective Order ASAP.

The answer to your question is not so simple. You are mixing contract law (the legal relationship between you, your husband, and the bank) with family law (the divorce). In short, your husband may have contract rights (such as the right to surrender the vehicle) that are controlled by contract but that does not mean it is permissible in the family law context. Judges do not like "stupid games" like this one, and if there is a TRO in place, he is most likely violating the TRO with his actions. If there is no TRO you need to get one now.

A TRO and a Protective Order are similar - the Protective Order is base on his violence and if he violates it, the sanction is criminal. The TRO is civil and not based on violence, it is available for the asking during a divorce and tells the parties to play nice, violations of a TRO are Civil. The real difference, if he violates a TRO you have to advise the Court and you have to prove it and the most that will happen is 6 months in county jail and a $500 fine. Violation of a PO however, is criminal, you call the cops, he is arrested, the DA does all the dirty work, and the punishment can be more probation, or even prison.

The Judge is your best bet for correcting this problem. If you do not have a TRO, you need one yesterday, but better late than never and have the Judge order him to address this with the Credit Union.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/9/2010
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