While you are dividing your community property in the divorce, you may have some questions when it comes to dividing the vehicles. Cars are a little different than other forms of property. They have value, like a house or a piece of jewelry. Part of what makes them unique is that they are often partly or fully financed.

They also can be utilitarian, meaning they have a practical and necessary use beyond just holding value. In Los Angeles, many people need cars to get around. Many people rely on cars for their daily commute and could not make a living without reliable transportation.

Thus, how to divide the cars may be a point of contention. If you both use your own separate cars, it may be as simple as you each taking the car you primarily use. This works the best if both cars have equitable value but this is not always the case. If you have multiple cars for different uses, for example, a daily commuter and an SUV for weekend trips, you may run into some problems. Similarly, if you have any vehicles of great value or that are still being financed, it won’t be as simple as taking the cars you want.

When dividing the community property in a divorce, the goal is to divide the total net-worth of the marital community equally. This requires taking stock of all community property, subtracting the total community debt to come to the total net value of the community. That net value is what is divided in property division. All property and debt divided needs to represent an equal division of the total net value. So, if your cars are valued about the same, dividing them will be easy. However, if they are still being financed, the accompanying debt needs to be taken into consideration. A car being financed holds both property value and debt however that value depreciates and the debt comes with an interest rate. Even if your cars are valued quite differently, as long as your total net value division is equal, the cars can be divided based off of necessity and practicality rather than value.

If you are in the Los Angeles or greater L.A. area and have questions about property division during divorce, Mark Karney, Certified Family Law Specialist, can help. Attorney Mark H. Karney and his skilled complex divorce litigation team can provide expert counsel to ensure you walk away with the all the property you are entitled to. Call us at 310-564-5710; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.