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What is your car worth in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2022 | Property Division

A car can seem like a valuable asset to try and keep in a divorce, yet it might not be as good a deal as you think. If your spouse knows you love the car, they may say, OK, it’s a $60,000 car, so if you keep it, they can keep the $60,000 in the savings account.

Yet, just because you get the car in the divorce does not mean you own it or that it is worth $60,000 to you. If there are still outstanding payments to make on the loan, then technically, it still belongs to the loan company until you complete the payments.

Check the true value of your car first

Firstly, you need to look at how much is still outstanding versus how much you have already paid to determine the true worth of the vehicle in a divorce settlement. You might think you are getting a $60,000 vehicle, yet if only half is paid off, you are getting much less. 

Then you need to allow for depreciation. Remember that a car’s value drops by around 9% to 11% the moment it leaves the showroom. It then continues to fall with time and use.

If you want to keep the vehicle, make sure to put it in your name and make the payments yourself. Even if you win it in your divorce, your spouse could ensure you lose it if you rely on them to make the remaining payments, and they do not, causing the loan company to seize it.

Remember that the key to getting a good deal in property division is to look at the overall picture and ensure you fully understand all financial elements and obligations. Consider legal help to do so.

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