Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Indiana

Vehicle ownership

Parent buys child a car and puts car in child's name. Parent pays for the registration, insurance and maintenance on a continuous basis. Child, still in high school, turns 18 and decides he is leaving and wants to take the car with him because it's in his name. Parent says no. Can the child legally take it since it's in his name?

Asked on 12/27/08, 7:45 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Burton Padove Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove

Re: Vehicle ownership

Based on the information provided, title is in the child's name.

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Answered on 12/28/08, 1:01 am
C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Vehicle ownership

I hope the situation you describe is theoretical and not something that is happening to you or someone you know. The legal facts based on the data contained in your question are that the ungrateful eighteen year old child is the legal owner of the vehicle, is legally competent to live independently of any parent, and may leave and take the vehicle. If the parent uses this episode as a lesson, and -- hard though it would be -- refrains from making further gifts to support this child, then both the parent and the child may yet learn something about power and responsibility. Good luck.

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Answered on 12/28/08, 4:03 pm

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