Is it true that I don't have the legal right to drive a car if it is in my husband's name? 27 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My husband and I are in dispute over our cars. He feels that since the titles are in his name that I don't have the legal right to drive them. He told me if I take one of our cars to go to work, he will call the police and have me arrested for theft. We are legally married. For now. Also would I be entitled to one or both of these vehicles in our upcoming divorce?

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The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
New York has not been a title state for divorce matters since 1972. No matter who owns title (vehicles, boats, even the house), if the property was acquired during the marriage, it is marital (joint) property. Ownership after divorce is something you have to work out. Talk to a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/12/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If the cars were purchased during the marriage with community earnings, they are community property - it does not matter whose name the cars were registered in. It is unlikely that you would have any trouble driving a car regiestered inyour husband's name. You are entitled to 1/2 of the net community property. If the cars are community property, they could be allocated tothe respective parties in a divorce. Especially since your husband is being "ugly", you should retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce, to minimize the game-playing and intimidation that your husband is resorting to, and to be available to promptly seek redress for any improprieties committed by your husband.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/11/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
In Wisconsin we are a marital property state. That means you could be awarded either of the cars, and you can drive either of the cars, regardless of whose name the title is in. So no worries.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 10/11/2011
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
It does not matter who holds the title to the vehicles. All property which is acquired during the marriage is community property regardless as to the form of title. The police will not arrest you for theft when you explain that you are married and that the cars were purchased during the marriage. You may wish to file for a divorce as soon as possible so that your interests are protected.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/11/2011
Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
The cars are martial property until proven otherwise by a court. Your husband is in error and I do not believe he will receive much support from law enforcement. Properties whether personal or real estate acquired during marriage are marital assets unless one can show they possessed the property prior to marriage or the asset was acquired with money prior to marriage or is by inheritance or another source not deemed to be a marital interest, salaries and pensions are marital assets.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 7/8/2013
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    While it is doubtful he can get you arrested, his attitude means you have a legal emergency and need to get yourself a divorce lawyer immediately to protect yourself from a bully who will likely face bad results from a court if you get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    As you are married, these are marital vehicles, and you can drive them. The police cannot charge you with theft. If you divorce, you could receive one or both vehicles. The value of the vehicles in a divorce is their blue book value, less whatever is owed on them. If you take a vehicle, you will owe you husband one-half of any net value. Also, if you take a vehicle, you also are responsible for the debt owed on it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Armand Fried
    The vehicles will definitely be part of the divorce decree issued by the judge. If your husband unreasonably refuses to let you drive a car you need to get the court involved. Even if you have the right to drive one of the cara, if he calls the cops and has you arrested, you are the one in trouble, so I would apply to the court for interim relief as soon as possible. I would seek an order allowing you to drive the car that you drove before the breakup with your husband. I would also seek any other interim relief that makes sense like spousal/child support, maintenance of medical/dental coverage if applicable and no depleting/secreting of the family funds.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No, that is not true. What you are entitled to in the divorce is a fair share of the marital property. A big part of the divorce process is determining what is and is not marital property so it is not possible to give a simple answer to your questions.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If the cars are titled in his name only, then he could call the police saying you stole the car. In a divorce, you could get one of the vehicles. If you do decide to divorce, hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    If the cars were acquired during marriage, then they are most likely community property. Please seek counseling - this kind of financial abuse is a form of domestic violence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    If he calls the police and claims you stole a car that is community property, he could face charges for filing a false police report!. Be sure any car you drive is fully licensed and insured for all drivers. Your marital situation sounds like it is deteriorating therefore you need the protection of a skilled family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    False. If the cars were purchased during marriage (and likely paid for with one spouse's income. doesn't matter whether husband or wife's income), then the cars are community property, regardless of what the title says. You don't need permission to drive a community property vehicle. Call a lawyer to learn about your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Swann
    You can drive cars in another person's name, regardless of who they are. Also, you may be entitled to one or more of the vehicles, depending on certain facts in the marriage. Consult an attorney to make sure your rights are protected and you are in the best possible outcome.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    He can't have you arrested if you are married. Whether or not they are in your name, you have a legal interest in them.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    If the cars were purchased during the marriage, they are considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. It does not matter in whose names the cars are titled.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Check the insurance policy to see if you are a covered driver. The cars are a part of the marital estate in a divorce and are subject to equitable distribution.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    Married couple in Minnesota have a undivided interest in all marrital property. Assuming the cars were purchased surfing the marriage, you have as much right to drive either catastrophe he does. This assumes that you have told me everything. The police would likely tell him this is a civil matter and not get involved if he called.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Despite the fact that the cars are titled in his name, if you are legally married, and particularly if you reside at the same location, you would be entitled to drive one of the cars. I suggest that you make sure that the car is insured in case he decides to remove the insurance and leave you to drive an uninsured vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Your husband is incorrect. In California, assets such as cars that are acquired during marriage are community property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Your husband is bluffing. If the cars were acquired or paid for during the marriage, they are subject to equal division, even if the titles are in his name alone.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    A car that is purchased during the marriage is presumptively community property. That means that each of you owns an undivided interest in the car, regardless of whose name it is titled in. Could your spouse call the police if you drive one of "his" cars? I suppose that he could. However, as long as you can produce proof of who you are and that you are married to him, I cannot imagine the police doing much about it. More to the point, I have to wonder about why you are staying with someone who is that much of a control freak. You may be better off getting the divorce underway sooner rather than later. Further, the court, at a temporary orders hearing, can order who gets to use which cars on a temporary basis. In terms of who will ultimately end up with the cars, that is a question that can't really be answered with the information available.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Everything you both own is considered marital property unless it is excluded by prenup or it is inheritance. In a divorce the court determines what is excluded. If they were purchased or paid for during the marriage, they are marital property and won't be excluded.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are married, the vehicle would be considered a community property car. The police should not have the authority to arrest you for driving this car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2011
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