Ask Avvo: Can my ex-husband halt my car purchase?

Avvo, Divorce, Money, Tips & how-to

Q: My husband and I have been separated for three months and have decided to move forward with a divorce. Before we made the decision, I was looking into purchasing a new car to replace the one I’ve had for years. Now that we’re officially splitting up, my husband says that I cannot make the purchase because the money I would use could be considered his. Is this true? Can I go ahead with the purchase using our shared funds, or should I wait until assets are divided between us? We both work full time and contribute equally to our shared savings.

A: If you use marital funds to purchase the car without your husband’s consent after separation, this asset could be considered marital property subject to division in the divorce. However, you have a couple different ways to obtain this vehicle without it becoming a divisible asset.

First, you could see if your husband is willing to enter into a stipulation or agreement waiving any interest he has to the car. The money you took to purchase the car would be credited against your share of marital assets in the divorce, but the car itself would be yours and yours alone.

Of course, in an abundance of caution, you could wait until assets are divided in the divorce before purchasing the car. This way, you would be certain that the vehicle is solely yours, and your husband would not have any claim to it.