Posted by Rachel Buckley on 15th January 2024
Is your car a part of the divorce assets?

Whilst for some a car is seen as purely functional for many of our clients it is a significant asset. Whether it’s an investment in a sports car, family SUV or a trusty work van, each vehicle tells a story and holds its own value, both emotionally and financially. Our Divorce Solicitor Rachel Buckley considers how car assets could be handled in a divorce settlement.

Divorce and car assets

Assessing the car’s value in a divorce isn’t just about market price. It involves a blend of financial evaluation and personal attachment. Car loans and liabilities must be addressed separately in the settlement. Professional valuations are essential, especially for owned luxury vehicles, to ensure a fair and accurate division of assets.

Ownership: Clarifying Assumptions

A common misstep in divorce and car assets is the assumption of joint ownership or individual ownership based on who paid the car loan. This can lead to misunderstandings and complications. It’s fundamental to verify the legal owner of the car and whose name is on the log book. If there’s any ambiguity, it could lead to disputes, especially if the financial court order does not explicitly obligate the transfer of the car. Clarifying ownership upfront can prevent potential disagreements and ensure that the settlement accurately reflects the division of assets.

Private Registration Plates

A private registration plate can sometimes be more valuable than the car itself. If either party wishes to retain the car, the value of the plate must be considered in the negotiations.

Considering Your Future Needs

The decision on whether you can keep the car will take into account its value, running costs, and practicality. For instance, if you’re divorcing a wealthy spouse, retaining a sports car might be reasonable. Similarly, if you live in a rural area and rely on a reliable vehicle for daily commutes or getting the children to school, keeping the car might be justified.

Family Court and Car Asset Decisions

The family court possesses the authority to decide how a car is dealt with in a divorce settlement. The court can order that a car be kept by one spouse, transferred to the other, or even sold. However, the courts often prefer not to get involved in disputes over car ownership. It is important to try to reach an agreement outside of court whenever possible.

At The Family Law Company, we understand the intricacies of handling car assets in divorce. We blend our legal expertise with a deep understanding of our clients’ personal and financial circumstances, ensuring a fair and satisfactory resolution. Whether it’s negotiating the retention of a prized vehicle or steering the valuation and division of assets, our team is here to guide you through every

Need some advice? Get in touch today

Director Rachel Buckley is a multiple award-winning divorce solicitor specialising in complex divorce and finance cases.

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