Dividing vehicles in a divorce

When you and your spouse divorce, you know that you need to divide your property between the two of you. However, it may not be simple to divide your vehicles. 

Colorado courts use equitable distribution to divide your assets. This system does not allocate half of the assets to you and half to your spouse. Instead, a court carefully considers what a fair distribution of property might look like. When you need to divide your vehicles, the court takes several factors into account. 

The type of asset

You usually have two kinds of assets, separate and marital. The court needs to determine which category the vehicles fall into. Did you purchase a car before you got married? If so, the vehicle is most likely your separate property. If you and your spouse made the purchase together and put the title in both of your names, then the car is marital property. 

Worth of the vehicle

Many courts may appraise the vehicle before distributing the assets. The value of your car may determine which spouse gets to keep it. If you have multiple vehicles, a court may consider the worth of each one and divide them accordingly. You and your spouse may not receive the same number of vehicles but the total worth may be similar. Additionally, the court may consider which of you has the resources to purchase another car. 

Purpose of the vehicle

According to Divorce Magazine, a court may consider how you and your spouse use the vehicles. Are they for recreation? Does one of you use the car to drive the children to school and extracurricular activities? Does one of you work from home while the other spouse commutes to work? Courts may award a vehicle to the spouse who uses it most frequently.