Divorce and the Little Things
When it comes to divorce, there are big, important terms that you are going to need to hammer out, including the division of your marital property. Other than your family home, your cars are likely to be two of your most sizable possessions. If you purchased your vehicles during your marriage, they are both almost certainly marital property. More often than not, however, each spouse has his or her own car (although they are both considered marital property). If you are keeping your vehicle and you own it free and clear – and your spouse is keeping his or hers but there remains a sizable loan on it – it can complicate things considerably. If your name is not on your divorcing spouse’s car loan, it should not be an issue. If your name is on the loan, you have some work to do.
Getting Your Name off that Car Loan
You have hammered out terms regarding the division of your marital property that you and your soon-to-be-ex are both willing to sign off on, and this includes each of you keeping your respective vehicles – and your ex taking over the car loan for his or her car. Finding the middle ground is great, but this does not alter the fact that your name is still on your ex’s car loan. In the end, having your name removed from the loan contract can be a considerable amount of work, but failing to do so can affect your credit rating and can leave you open to certain kinds of liability – in the event your ex quits making the payments, for example. Generally, the only way to remove your name from an auto loan is for your ex to refinance it in his or her name. If your divorcing spouse does not have the credit rating to qualify for the loan or refuses to do so, it can turn into a sticking point, but a dedicated divorce lawyer can help with this and all the other divorce sticking points you may encounter along the way.
A few of the other housekeeping-type divorce details that you should keep in mind as you move forward toward divorce include (as applicable):
Cleaning up your credit card accounts (removing your name, removing your soon-to-be ex’s name, or closing accounts)
Changing your beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts
Changing your address