Legal Question in Family Law in Ohio

My ex husband and I got a divorce in 2013. In the divorce decree started that am I to get one of two of our vehicles. Also in the decree it stated that I was to have the car in my name within a year. My credit hasn't allowed me to get the car in my name but my ex husband has agreed to let me continue paying on it, until its paid off. I only have a couple thousand left to pay. He is now trying to say that he is coming to get the car. Is he able to do this? I am making the payments and trying to get it paid off. There was a few times that I was late on the car payment, but the payments are current right now.

Asked on 2/08/17, 8:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Evan Engler Harris & Engler, Attorneys at Law

The answer depends on whether the vehicle is in both of your names of just your ex-husband's name. Technically you are in contempt of court for violating a court order requiring you to refinance the vehicle in your sole name, this puts your ex-husband's credit at risk if you miss a payment. However, the divorce decree might have also required your husband to take the title out of his name, which if true, would put him in contempt of court for not doing so. The usual solution that a court would generally impose in this type of scenario would be to require you to sell the vehicle if you do not refinance it within a certain amount of time.

If the car is in both of your names then your ex cannot necessarily come and take the vehicle away from you, because it is both of yours and you both have the right to use it. If the vehicle is only titled in your ex's name, the answer is basically the same but the process for getting there is a bit more complicated. Basically, if your ex comes to get the vehicle then just call the police. The police will tell you that it is a civil matter that has to be resolved in court if necessary.

The real solution is to get that car refinanced as soon as possible. Otherwise, the real next step for you ex would be to file a contempt motion in court.

Kind Regards,

Evan T. Engler

Harris & Engler, Attorney at Law

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Answered on 2/08/17, 3:56 pm

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