My wife recently bought a car even though we are getting ready to divorce.
Is it possible for me to be held financially liable for the car even though I did not sign off on her purchasing the vehicle and am not on the loan?
Each state is different in terms of what is considered marital property, debts, obligations and how those are divided during a divorce.
In Pennsylvania for example, if your wife purchased a car with marital funds prior to date of separation (which could be before the divorce complaint and would of course be before the date of divorce), the asset would be marital.
The note thereon would be subtracted from the value of the car. If she is going to retain the vehicle, she’d be responsible for the note. However, if the debt outweighed the value of the car, this would be considered a marital obligation.
On the other hand, in Pennsylvania, if the wife purchased the vehicle after the date of separation, the vehicle is separate property and her separate liability.
You need to consult with a local attorney to determine when the cut-off date for marital property occurs in your state.
Laws regarding property division and the separation of assets are state-dependent, meaning only an attorney familiar with your state’s statutes would be able to provide accurate information in regards to your specific case.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”