Dividing Vehicles in a Virginia Divorce

Car in the driveway of a homeIn a Virginia divorce, the couple must decide how to split all assets, including vehicles. If you and your ex-spouse are in the midst of a divorce and cannot agree on how to divide assets, a court will step in to label property, consider certain factors to execute equitable distribution, and make a decision for you.

Vehicles Eligible for Division Under Virginia Law

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, for every 1,000 people in the U.S., 6.9 sought a divorce in 2014. In each of these unions, couples built lives together, acquiring property—which includes vehicles. The following types of vehicles may be eligible for division in a divorce, depending on when and how they were purchased:

  • Passenger vehicles, such as sedans and sports cars
  • Trucks, including work-purpose vehicles and SUVs
  • Motorcycles and mopeds
  • Boats and other water sport vehicles, such as jet skis
  • Recreational vehicles, including dirt bikes, ATVs, and dune buggies

Only Marital Property Is Eligible for Division

Before dividing vehicles between spouses, Virginia courts first make categorizations of property as part of equitable distribution laws—meaning that courts will not divide assets equally, but rather in a way they perceive as fair (based on certain factors). In these categorizations, vehicles deemed separate property—that is, property that was legally never co-mingled with marital funds—are not eligible for division by a Virginia divorce judge. Here are some examples of vehicles not subject to division:

  • You purchased and paid in full for a car before the start of the marriage.
  • You purchased a vehicle during the marriage, but qualified for the auto loan individually, paid the insurance and registration with your salary, and made payments on it with funds kept completely separate from marital assets.
  • Someone gifted a vehicle to you only, it remained in your name, and you used individual funds for its care and maintenance.

Factors of Equitable Distribution

When making a decision regarding the vehicles you and your spouse own, Virginia courts will consider certain factors to divide property in a way they consider fair under equitable distribution. Some of these factors are:

  • When and how the vehicles were obtained
  • With what funds the vehicles were purchased
  • The length of the marriage
  • With whose funds the vehicle was cared for and maintained
  • The market value of the vehicles

An Experienced Attorney Can Help

If you’re going through a divorce and have questions about Virginia property distribution, we are here to help. The team at Tavss Fletcher has been serving our community for decades, and we’d be happy to assist in your case, as well. Call us today to speak with a member of our team: 877.960.3441.