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If I divorce, am I able to keep any personal property and cars that were obtained before the marriage?

Berkley, MI |

I have two cars currently in my name. One was acquired before the marriage and is fully paid for. The other I just financed five months ago. I would like to keep both once the divorce is final and I just want to know how the property will be split. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The one before the marriage is clearly yours. The other is marital property and the judge can order it be sold but generally if you want to take the debt, then you can take the car.


  2. How long was the marriage? This question really needs to be answered first.


  3. The one before should be your separate property unless marital money was put it into but even then, probably not a big problem. The one after the marriage is marital property and unless you put a giant down payment on it probably has little equity to divide. Consult an attorney.

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  4. You state the first car was fully paid. When? If payments were made during the marriage, then the court can include this claimed separate/premarital asset. One must keep in mind, however, that there is no prohibition against a court including premarital property in division of assets, depending upon circumstances including, but not limited to, length of the marriage and whether premarital assets are necessary for the support of the other party. There are 2 statutes that give the court discretion to include premarital/separate property.

    Neil M. Colman

    Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.