970 McHenry Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC

Call Today for Your FREE Consultation

Call Us800-338-3833 | 815-338-3838

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

How Cars Factor in Division of Property

Posted on in Property Division

How Cars Factor in Division of PropertyVehicles are among the most valuable properties in a marriage and an important part of the division of property during a divorce. They qualify as marital properties as long as:

  • They were purchased during the marriage;
  • Marital money was used to pay off a vehicle loan; or
  • Marital money was used to pay for major repairs or modifications.

In your marriage, each of you likely has your own vehicle that you primarily use. However, dividing your vehicles in a divorce is not as simple as each of you picking a car. Vehicles are a factor in determining equitable value in a divorce agreement.

Establishing Ownership

A vehicle may be marital property, but the owner of the vehicle after the divorce is the person whose name is on the vehicle title. The fact that you are the primary person to use the vehicle and pay for its upkeep does not guarantee you ownership if your spouse is the only one who is listed on the title. You will need your spouse to transfer ownership to you during the divorce. This can be a simple agreement, but some spouses use it to bargain for possession of another asset.

Vehicle Valuation

Each of you getting a car is not an equitable division of property if one vehicle is more valuable than the other. The spouse who keeps the less-valuable vehicle often receives other marital properties to compensate for the difference. Thus, properly assessing the value of each vehicle is important in determining an equitable division of property in a divorce. A vehicle appraiser will consider:

  • The age of the vehicle;
  • The vehicle’s condition;
  • The number and types of repairs that have been made;
  • The estimated market resale value of the vehicle’s year, make and model; and
  • The equity in the vehicle, which is the value of the vehicle subtracted by the amount left on the vehicle loan.

Additional Vehicles

When spouses have more than two vehicles, they have a couple of options of what to do with the extra vehicle. One spouse may keep the vehicle, in exchange for giving properties of equal value to the other spouse. The spouses may also agree to sell the vehicle and divide the money they earned from the sale.

Retaining Your Vehicle

You may rely more on your individual transportation after your divorce because you no longer have the option of receiving a ride from your spouse. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help you keep ownership of your personal vehicle and accurately assess its value for the division of property. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
Back to Top