Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law
This answer was rated:

My ex wife wrecked a car that we co own. We are both on the

My ex wife wrecked a...
My ex wife wrecked a car that we co own. We are both on the lien, but she holds her own insurance policy. I am responsible for paying the payments, per our separation agreement. I know some auto insurance companies will cut a check directly to the policy holder, vs to a repair shop. If they don't total the vehicle and cut her a large check for repairs, what happens if she just uses the money to buy a new car? Am I stuck paying 30 more payments on a wrecked car? Would that be legal for her to do?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
7/6/2013
S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,512
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
Verified

Steven Kincaid :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Steven Kincaid :

Your ex is permitted to use the money in any fashion she chooses and it is common to replace a vehicle with insurance money. Whether or not you would have to continue paying has more to do with whether the debt was assigned to you or your spouse. It sounds like your agreement addresses the payments, rather than the debts. Is your agreement part of the final divorce judgment? What exactly (word for word) does it say about who pays the debt on the car?

Customer:

Marital Property and Debts

Customer:

10. Respondent shall have the following property: a. The 2009 Chevy Malibu.

Customer:

12. The Petitioner agrees to pay all debts owed by the parties on the foregoing marital property and all credit card debts current as of June 7, 2010.

Steven Kincaid :

Under those terms, she does not have to use the insurance money to pay the car payment since the auto debt is not her responsibility. You remain liable for the auto payment and he can keep the funds from the insurance company and do anything she wants with those funds.

Customer:

Lets say she does get a check cut directly to her and uses for her personal self. Don't you think a court would see this poorly and possibly overturn the divorce agreement because of it? This was a divorce agreement between us, not court ordered.

Customer:

Also, my name is XXXXX XXXXX title of that car. Can an insurance agency cut her the sole check?

Steven Kincaid :

It was never signed by the judge? Was it filed in the court file?

Steven Kincaid :

Did the decree of dissolution adopt the settlement agreement?

Customer:

Yes, what I'm saying is that we didn't go to divorce court to have our divorce settled. We sat down and agreed on the terms ourselves. I took all debt we had, out of pure goodness. Ky is a 50/50 state, and I knew that. I wanted my daughter to have a safe car to be transported in and I knew my ex couldn't afford it so I took all of our responsibilities. It was signed and filed. But, knowing this, don't you think a judge would look very poorly on her for using funds from a car I was paying for on my own will for her good benefit? I would think that would frown on that, sticking me with $15,000 in debt on a crashed car, on purpose.

Steven Kincaid :

If it is not part of the divorce decree, it is not a final and enforceable term. You can go to divorce court and ask for a different disposition of the property and debts. I assumed that your settlement agreement was part of the divorce proceeding. Are you still married? If not, does the divorce decree say anything about property and debts? Does it incorporate your agreement by reference? You need to look at the decree to determine if your agreement is enforceable. If it is an enforceable agreement, I do not think the judge would question her decision to buy another car with the funds rather than pay off the existing car. If she does so, everybody is in the same position they were in before - she has a working car and you are paying the family debt. But if your agreement has not been made enforceable, the Court would be less likely to require you to pay that debt without your current agreement.

Customer:

17. This agreement shall be made a part of any Decree of Dissolution of Marriage which may be entered in the herein action.

Steven Kincaid :

And a decree has been entered?

Customer:

Yes, we have been divorced for over 3 years.

Steven Kincaid :

It seems likely to me that the agreement is enforceable but technically, it should state in the decree, signed by the Judge, that the agreement is incorporated by reference or adopted as part of the decree.

Customer:

We only paid $200 to this attorney for this to be written up. It's pretty loose, I bet.

Steven Kincaid :

Possibly.

Customer:

Can I scan and email it to you? It may make it easier on both of us. If she tries this and you find a loophole, I'll pay you the payment for a few months!

Steven Kincaid :

:) As tempting as that is, I'm not permitted on this site to accept emails from customers. All communication must be through this forum. If you are able to tell me in this chat what the decree says, I can certainly comment on it though. I know that I have an "attachment" option. Do you have one too? You may be able to send it attached to this chat.

Customer:

I do have one, but I think I found what you are looking for. I'll type it.

Customer:

7. The Court finds that the parties have executed a Separation Agreement which settles issues of property, custody, visitation, and support, which Separation Agreement is attached hereto and made a part hereof the same as if copied herein verbatim. The Court finds this Agreement to be fair and equitable to both parties. The Separation Agreement attached to this decree is enforceable by the further orders of this Court.

Steven Kincaid :

Yes, the agreement is enforceable then. Sorry I couldn't give you better news.

Customer:

Well, I don't think many insurance companies cut checks directly to the policy holders do they? Don't most of them require repair estimates and then sent the check to the repair facility?

Customer:

Also, since their is still a lien on this car, wouldn't she still be required to have full coverage insurance on it even if she leaves it in a crashed condition?

Steven Kincaid :

It can go either way. Years ago, when my motorcycle was totaled, they sent the money directly to me. She would not be required to insure a totaled car.

Customer:

If the company totals it then they would have to have the title, which the lien holder won't release unless the balance is paid. Correct?

Steven Kincaid :

If what company totals it? The insurance company?

Customer:

yes, sir.

Steven Kincaid :

No, all the insurance company does is defer to the opinion of a mechanic who deems the repairs to be more expensive than the value of the vehicle. If that happens, there is no car to be titled (unless the parts are used to create a salvage title vehicle), so the original title is irrelevant. The lienholder's title is worthless and it never has to be released.

Customer:

And was your cycle paid for or was there a lien on it? I'm assuming you were the outright owner.

Steven Kincaid :

Mine was paid for.

Customer:

OK, Steven. Thank you for you help. I appreciate your time tonight.

Steven Kincaid :

You're welcome and good luck.

S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,512
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
Verified
S. Kincaid and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask S. Kincaid Your Own Question
S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,512
2,512 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence

S. Kincaid is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,844 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,360 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,346 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,754 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
I am in the process of getting separated -- need to know
I am in the process of getting separated -- need to know whether or not it is mandatory to attach a DRO to a separation agreement and include th elanguage of the DRO in the separation agreement before… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,163 satisfied customers
My huuuuuuusband and i are separating within the year or
my huuuuuuusband and i are separating within the year or before he has promised me an 11 million dollar settlemet within a year or so plus a 3 million dollar house in my name in Austin, Texas....i hav… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
27,451 satisfied customers
I'm in the process of separation. My spouse moved to MD in
I'm in the process of separation. My spouse moved to MD in August. Both of our mailing addresses are to her house. I'm staying at a friends house in FL and go back and forth. Can she file for divorce … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
I am divorced. And in our separation agreement, which
I am divorced. And in our separation agreement, which carried over to our divorce, my Xagreed to continue paying for a life insurance policy on me. We had had the policy for about 35 years. She paid i… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
Domestic partners for twenty years. If separating how is the
Domestic partners for twenty years. If separating how is the sale of the house split? If I put $37,000/ down on the house and the partner put $2,000. to assist but the mortgage is on my name. How woul… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,903 satisfied customers
We are workign on a separation agreement right now and NOT
We are workign on a separation agreement right now and NOT sure what date to put down for the actual separation. My husband remained int he marital home until January 2012 when the bank offered a deed… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
55,425 satisfied customers
If a separation agreement states that the state and/or
if a separation agreement states that the state and/or county worksheets were used in order to determine both spousal and child support, and the numbers entered into the worksheet only included one sp… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Divorce/Separation/ Partition Agreement Questions: My CA
Divorce/Separation/ Partition Agreement Questions:My CA husband and I have physically separated after 14 years of marriage. Our arguments have been over financial issues. Instead of divorce or legal s… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
There is a clause in a separation agreement. "The obligation
There is a clause in a separation agreement. "The obligation of the husband to pay maintenance shall not be affected by what ever income the wife here after May have or the source there of whether ear… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
If my stepmom wanted a divorce and maintained a separate
if my stepmom wanted a divorce and maintained a separate residence, and my father dies, can her next of kin status be compromised? … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Can a spouse withhold health benefits during separation? Are
Can a spouse withhold health benefits during separation? Are health benefits finished for the spouse when divorced?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
Can someone get a legal separation without the property
Can someone get a legal separation without the property settlements and later if there is a divorce do the property settlement at that time?.… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,030 satisfied customers
I'm in Massachusetts. Is there such thing as a separation
Hi, I'm in Massachusetts. Is there such thing as a separation agreement vs. a divorce? … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
27,451 satisfied customers
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT DIVORCE/SEPARATION, SPOUSAL SUPPORT.
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT DIVORCE/SEPARATION, SPOUSAL SUPPORT … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,498 satisfied customers
I found this online about separation agreement online in
Hello, I found this online about separation agreement online in state of Virginia. I am planning to file for divorce in December 2017 and I had been living separtely since June 2017. Do I need to get … read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
6,878 satisfied customers
If I execute a legal separation document is it voided if we
Hi Pearl, If I execute a legal separation document is it voided if we are domiciled for a short period of time in NC? … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
11,844 satisfied customers
If we separated for 9 months in 2011 and separated most all
If we separated for 9 months in 2011 and separated most all our accounts then, but then moved back in together....only to separate permanently in March of 2016, which date should I use on the FL120 re… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
55,425 satisfied customers
The attorney is saying i can't have a legal separation and
the attorney is saying i can't have a legal separation and keep my spouse out of my house. i am the sole owner of the property. i cannot have a divorce due to my faith in Jesus. God … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x