I discovered a marital vehicle may have been sold/traded while there is a standing order in a divorce proceeding is it contempt?

Asked about 2 years ago - Worcester, MA

So I currently have a standing order in a divorce proceeding and I discovered that the vehicle may have been traded/sold while this order is standing. The vehicle was bought WHILE we were married, however it was her father and my spouse on the bank loan. The vehicle was paid for with funds I solely provided during the marriage and I am trying to figure out if this vehicle is considered marital property since it was acquired during the marriage, it was paid for with joint marital funds, however since the vehicles lien was in my spouses and fathers name does this void out the factor of marital property?

Additional information

I am assuming the vehicle was sold because she recently moved and her commute increased mileage wise, she sold the SUV in order to buy a Sedan - the vehicle had equity in it worth about $5,000.00. She refuses to answer anything I have asked her but discovered this information from my insurance company and RMV records.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Mark Twombly Lee

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The vehicle is marital property by virtue of your equitable contribution and the fact the title was held in your spouse's name. The automatic restraining order you are reffering to do does not apply to your father in law, but it does apply to your spouse and it applies to you. A complaint for contempt alleding violation of the automatic restraining order could be appropriate if there was equity in the asset.....without knowing why the car was sold, and what replaced it if anything restricts what I can comment on or speculate about.

  2. Joshua N Robbins


    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Rule 411 puts in place an automatic restraining order at the commencement of an action. However there are many exceptions to this rule and as my colleague stated more information would be needed to assess whether you should file a contempt action or merely address this issue at settlement discussions / trial. I wish you all the best.

  3. Thomas J Callahan

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues that this was marital property, that the automatiuc restraining order was violated and that you have grounds for a contempt motion. If your divorce is still pending, however, what would you hope the contempt to accomplish? What would you want the court to order? It would seem to me that your main goal is still the end resolution and that in the end resolution (by agreement or by trial), you can bring this up and have the division of marital assets and equity divided accordingly to account for her appropriation of this asset.

    To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a... more
  4. Elliot S Coren

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hi

    The vehicle more likely than not would be considered marital property and should be included in the asset values to be divided between your spouse and you. It is possible a judge will credit you with half the value of the equity in the vehicle aqgaionst the husband's share of the assets.1

    Steve Coren

    This answer does not consitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Divorce Court

Divorce court is where the divorce process takes place. The court may determine matters like alimony, child custody, and property division.

Avvo Staff

An Overview of Divorce Court Fees

Just as each state has its own requirements to successfully file for divorce, each state also has its own types of fees and rules for when they will be applied. You may find this overview... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

26,809 answers this week

2,927 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

26,809 answers this week

2,927 attorneys answering