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Division of property: Your vehicle or mine?

Yours, mine and ours. That's the way things work in British Columbia when it comes to the division of property in a divorce situation. Assets can include all types of things from motorcycles, vehicles, property and furry family members. A lot of contention is enmeshed with vehicles that both individuals in the relationship might use. To whom do they really belong?

Those vehicles purchased during the marriage and which are considered to be marital property, will end up belonging to someone unless both parties agree to their sale and a split of the proceeds. Any vehicles that were owned by one individual prior to the marriage will remain with that individual. By the same token, if a vehicle was a gift, it isn't considered marital property.

If one spouse purchases a vehicle with money he or she earned him or herself and uses personal own funds out of a separate account to pay for it, that vehicle is also not considered marital property. If a vehicle is in the name of one spouse alone, he or she is the legal owner of that vehicle, but the other spouse can ask for a temporary order giving him or her use of the vehicle while property issues are sorted out. If one spouse usually makes payments on the vehicle and stops and the vehicle is considered to be marital property, the other spouse is responsible for paying the debt as well.

There are many rules which can come into play when it comes to division of property in divorce cases. A lawyer familiar with British Columbia family law may be able to shed light on any confusion surrounding these issues. Before absconding with a vehicle that may be marital property, it might be best to seek the advice of a lawyer.  

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