Keeping the family car in a divorce—or securing enough funds to purchase a new car—can be vital during your Washington State divorce, especially if you need a vehicle to get to work, get to the grocery store, or get your kids to school. But how does a judge decide who keeps the car after a divorce if you share a vehicle with your spouse? 

First, the judge will consider whether the car was purchased before the marriage, given as a gift, or inherited from a family member. If the car was purchased together by the couple—and if the car’s upkeep and repairs are also shared by the couple—the judge will examine who uses the car and for what purposes. If you use the car to commute to work or if you use the car to secure necessities for your family, you may have a better chance of retaining the car. 

It is important to remember that if you don’t win the family car in the divorce settlement, you will likely be compensated, either with other types of property from the divorce or with the funds to secure a new or used vehicle. If the car specific to your case has a special value that goes beyond its use as a form of transportation (for example, if it has sentimental value or is a collector’s item) make sure that is clear when discussing this item during property division. 

A Seattle divorce attorney can help you better understand all aspects of your divorce settlement—and make sure you get what is rightfully yours. To speak to a family lawyer today, call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington