Gift Affidavits Important for Vehicle Transfers in Divorce

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In a divorce, motor vehicles can be one important piece to a divorce. In certain cases, there can be all sorts of motor vehicles in play.  Individuals often just think about the cars, SUVs, vans or the trucks. But many forget about boats, jet skis, trailers and even mobile homes.

In a divorce, a court has to divide all marital property and debt in just proportions in a start where equitable division is the law. In many cases, parties are able to reach a settlement outside of court. In other instances, after a trial, a judge may have to divide the marital property and debt.

Either way, it is important for parties to know how these motor vehicles are titled. In some instances, the motor vehicle may be in the name of one spouse or the other. This can often be the case where a motor vehicle was purchased prior to the marriage.

In other instances, however, the motor vehicle may be in the name of the husband and wife jointly. In these cases, a gift affidavit can be an important component of a divorce.

A gift affidavit is a form signed by one of the spouses given the other spouse the authority to go to the department of motor vehicles in their state to transfer the title. In other words, let’s say there is a car in the name of the husband and the wife. But let’s say that in the divorce decree, the ex-wife is getting the car. In these cases, the ex-husband would often sign a gift affidavit authorizing the ex-wife to transfer title in her individual name.

This allows the ex-wife to then go to the department of motor vehicles to transfer title. Without a gift affidavit, a party will often be unable to change the title to their individual name.

Gift affidavits are relatively simple for a lawyer to put together. But it’s something that parties do not want to overlook in their divorce.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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