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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37365
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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My daughter recently got a divorce here in Indiana. Her

Customer Question

Hi, my daughter recently got a divorce here in Indiana. Her ex fled the state and went to Los Angeles to avoid the court room, and all that was involved. So the judge awarded my daughter the divorce without his presence. Problem; he has a vehicle that is financed, he could not get the loan because of his credit rating so my daughter had to sign the loan. By the divorce decree he had 30 days to refinance the vehicle and get her name off the loan,or at the end of 30 days the vehicle would become my daughters. Its been 70 days and he has not complied. Question, how can we legally come to LA and retrieve this car for my daughter? Her lawyer does not know what California laws would say about this, this is a new experience for him, so we are trying to find some answers. Can you help us with any information that would help my daughter retrieve this vehicle. Legally it belongs to her now. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can..If daughter is the owner of the vehicle on the title, then it is her vehicle and since the ex is in violation of any order to refinance in his name, then she, or her agent, could physically repossess it at any time now if she or her agent went to CA and was able to retake possession without any breach of the peace. This means that if she located the car and could quietly enter and drive it away, then she is completely within her legal rights to do so..If she doesn't have the keys to the vehicle, but has the title, she can have the dealer make a duplicate set of keys based on the VIN on the title for her so she can simply unlock it and drive it away. Once that is done, it is always a good idea to notify local police that the vehicle has been repossessed just to head off any potential problems if the ex calls in and tries to file a stolen vehicle report...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My daughter has a key, the title is in both their names but with a copy of the divorce decree the BMV will remove his name from the title. So you are saying we can go and pick it up and let the authorities know what is happening, I don't need anything special from California to do this legally?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
That is correct. The judgment from Indiana is legally valid in CA under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution. So you don't need to do anything to have it formally recognized since the vehicle is titled in IN..The whole idea here is to do this quickly and quietly so as to have the vehicle in your possession and be on your way before the ex is even aware that it is gone. ..thanksBarrister