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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101323
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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if a vehicle was purchased on december 10th 2010 i was married

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if a vehicle was purchased on december 10th 2010 i was married december 30th 2010, and my wife filed for divorce due to adultery and takes that vehicle, am i legally responible for it in south carolina? Furthermore what type of punishment will i face, seeing i have custody of my sons from a previous marriage
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

-whose names were on the vehicle? Just yours, or both of you?
-did the divorce decree state who the vehicle went to in the asset division?
-what do you mean by "punishment" seeing as you have custody of children from a prior marriage?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Her name is XXXXX XXXXX vehicle, it is under her credit, i used the vehicle up until she left me in january of this year. Furthermore, by punishment means could i face jail time, a fine or just the divorce? the papers i got served on monday says she is seeking a loan payoff of 3500 from me for it, however she took it in january leaving me with no vehicle, she also took everything but the childrens things.

Thank you.

The question is - is the vehicle separate property or marital?

Under South Carolina Code §20-3-620, anything purchased before marriage is considered separate property, unless your name is XXXXX XXXXX title as well.

You married her on Dec. 30, after the vehicle was already purchased. The fact that you used the vehicle does not mean that it is yours or marital property. Ergo, you can argue that this is her separate property, and she alone is responsible for the payment. Adding to argument, she is driving it now anyhow!

Even if this was marital property, the two of you would be liable for the debt jointly. So you would only be liable for part of the payoff.

Just because she is requesting this in her petition does not mean that she will get it - individuals frequently overreach in their petitions.

You would not be facing any penalty for not paying the amount unless ordered so by the Court and not doing so.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Ely she traded in the vehicle, hence the payoff request, Im just trying to feel some sense of normalcy since she had me served this monday and court is nov. 5th, so im trying to prepare... thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this still true if she filed under adultry?

Ah, thank you, Jeff.

If she traded in your vehicle, then both individual's assets were used to purchase the car, and arguably, it is marital income. But if she has it, then SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT. Whoever gets the asset also gets the debt.

but is this still true if she filed under adultry?

Adultery augments the matter. Marital debt/asset division can be skewed in favor of a party who successfully argues a "fault." Generally, one party simply alleges irreconcilable differences. However, most states retain grounds for divorce where one party alleges fault when divorcing, such as neglect, assault, adultery, etc, and because of this, the Court can divide the assets/debts in favor of that party.

So ordinarily, she'd still be liable for the vehicle. However, if she proves adultery by clear and convincing evidence, then you may get an extraordinary share of the marital debt and if so, that vehicle payoff may be shifted to you, I am afraid.

That is, if she proves adultery.

Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three faces, keep this in mind when rating my answer and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.

IMPORTANT INFO: I hope this finds you well. Please use REPLY button to keep talking, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then SUBMIT, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.
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