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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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My daughter is dealing with a similar issue and needs some

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My daughter is dealing with a similar issue and needs some help. She obtained a divorce with her husband through a simplified one page procedure in Florida where there is no contesting, no children, no real property. She was promised (not in writing) that he would pay her $250.00 in alimony for 6 months since she had been a stay at home mother to their daughter (who died of cancer the previous year) and because her husband's job required she be available to move every few months. His request for a quickie divorce in December 2012 was a total shock but she was bullied and agreed to everything. She would have been married 7 years in October so it now seems apparent that his sense of urgency to get it filed and finalized was due this milestone and his wish to live with the girlfriend he said he had loved for years.

NOW THE QUESTION-------- She accepted the possession of a vehicle which was financed and titled in both their names. She thought that she could continue to make the $350.00 monthly payment because of her alimony. The second the divorce was final in March and she moved to Tennessee to be with family, he stopped sending alimony... She eventually got a seasonal job paying $10.00 an hour but could still not afford the older vehicle which happened to have 89K miles. The insurance which she paid as well was another $178.00 per month.
She contacted the EX and informed him she couldn't keep paying but that since she was on the Florida loan and title, she needed some sort of release before he took the car and 1 remaining key ,( he had never given her the other one.) As things progressed, he threatened her that if she didn't keep paying for the car (which would affect his credit and commercial driving record) and insurance, he would just drive up to Tennessee and take the car and not do anything to release her from the liability.
So, long story short, She is afraid to give him the car, without some sort of liability release. She doesn't want to be sued if he has an accident in it later. He may be planning to give it to his girlfriend which poses the same problem if there were to be an accident or some other problem associated with the vehicle. What kind of document, should she have him sign and have notorized before physically releasing the vehicle and key to him? I can't thank you enough for your answer. Marc

Thank you for your question, Marc. Please permit me to assist you this evening.

There is no specific document that would fully release your daughter from liability if the vehicle remains titled under both names. Under state law, what governs is not who physically possess the vehicle but who is on title (even in case of an accident). To truly release herself from liability, the other party would have to formally refinance the loan with the lender solely under his name, and then she could sign the title over to him. If that does not occur, regardless of what she signs she would still be responsible in case of an accident or other issues. The release from the title would not happen without first releasing her from the loan, and that is something the other former spouse has to pursue on his own in this instance.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if he won't refinance. Should she just keep the car stored until he agrees?


If he refuses to refinance, there is no need to return the vehicle. She is not required to return (if she is on title) as she has as much right to use the car as the other person. As a consequence there is no obligation for her to simply give him the car based on threats--she can continue using it until her refinances and takes the debt personally under his name.

Good luck.

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