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Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 3502
Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
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Me and my spouse of 7 years just broke up 1 week ago and our

Customer Question

me and my spouse of 7 years just broke up 1 week ago and our mini van is insured and registered in my name but in his name at the dealership can i keep it? or do i half to give it back to him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Hello Lindsey, thank you for the question. I see that you're in Alberta.

It's hard to give back half of a van, obviously. So we need to find out whether he can take it back unilaterally, or call the police claiming that you are keeping it without right.

You mention the insurance, the registration, and the dealership. We need to sort that out.

Firstly, the insurance. Are you insured under a policy in your own name?

Secondly the financing. Is that through the dealership? How much is owed on the van and to whom and by whom?

Thirdly the ownership. Who is registered as the owner of the van according to the Ministry of Transportation/Licensing? The ownership plus proof of insurance is usually what is kept in your wallet or in the van's glove box.

It doesn't matter who is actually making payments on insurance or for payment of the van at this point.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the policy is in my name only
the financing is thru the dealership,we have only had it for about 2months and its owed to td by my ex
im the registered owner
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

I see. So let's look at what might be an emergency.

You remain insured under a policy that's in your name, so he can't cancel it on you. Obviously, you have to pay it yourself.

The ownership is in your name, so he can't just come take it or demand it back or report it stolen.

Now let's look at the payments on the van Lindsey. The auto loan is with TD, and it's solely in his name? That's a little unusual but maybe he bought it "for you" or wanted to keep his name off of assets for some reason?

What is the principle of the loan and the payment schedule? What is the value of the van, or it purchase price? New or used?

Do you want to keep it? Obviously, if you want to keep it then you'll have to take over the loan payments yourself sometime soon.

I assume it's not a lease. Was there a downpayment? How much and who paid that?

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

I don't know if you requested a phone call, or if the site is pushing it on you as an "additional service", but I don't do them. I consider it contrary to the rules of my Law Society.

It's better for you to have it in writing anyway, with no extra fees, and so that you can look at it later.

I'm here. Can you answer my questions and we'll finish up our discussion?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
0 downpayment, he got it for me because we have 4 kids,the payments are 539 bi weekly,we got it brand new
25,000 i would like to keep it just until i can get a new one under my name seeing how he has a truck, and it is in only his name thru td
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

I understand. That's a lot of money to sink into a vehicle, but he has one of his own and with four kids you need it yourself. I assume that the kids are with you (but that's a separate issue).

So, he's going to expect you to take over the payments, and if you are going to keep the van then you should. At some point you and he need to go to TD to see if the loan can be transferred to your name. For that to happen, you'll need proof of income, including Child Tax Credit and child support from him.

Because there was no downpayment and because you just entered into this purchase, he has no "equity" in he van (other than payments towards it that he's made post separation if any), so the van issue isn't the biggest deal. The loan is in his name so he has incentive to see it paid because if it goes into default then it's his credit rating that gets hit. You have an incentive to see the loan payments made because if they aren't then the van is repossessed and your out of a vehicle with four kids.

So to answer your question, yes you owe him half of the value of the van. But half of nothing is still nothing. If he agrees to start paying the appropriate child support based on his income right away, then you can take over the van payments until everything else is sorted out.

Does that make sens Lindsey? Please reply if there is more to discuss. If I've answered you then I'd appreciate a positive service rating please.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry there was kind of a down payment we traded in our old van which was in both his and my name it was only valued at 2000 tho, and i am willing to take over the payments
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

That doesn't change much. If the downpayment is taken into account then that still took place when you were together. So maybe there's some equity in the van which you you might have to reimburse him for if there's no other property or debt division to include in that consideration.

It's good that you're willing to take over the payments, I hope that you are able. My earlier point was that you both have something to lose if the loan goes into default. So if you're having trouble getting him to pay the proper child support, this could be some leverage.

Thanks for replying, that's a valid consideration.

Anything else on this topic?

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 1 year ago.

Hello Lindsey, did you see what I wrote? Have you talked to him about the van, or to the bank?


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