If there is no court order, no separation agreement and no written document, then yes the car can be retrieved by the other spouse. However, the car could be "sequestered" for the exclusive use and benefit of one spouse to the exclusion of the other through a court order or agreement.
It would be best to aimcably agree to resolve the divorce issues through a separation agreement.
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In addition to Mark's answer, your brother needs to be aware that although they are separated, the law presumes that the driver of a vehicle is on a mission for the owner if there is an accident, and thus he can be sued for damages in an accident, even if his wife is the one who had care, custody, and control of the vehicle at the time of the accident. This is another good reason to pursue a separation agreement.
We would be glad to discuss this further with your brother in a consultation in our Greensboro offices and can set an immediate appointment. There is likely much more to consider than your brother is proably aware of at the moment and regardless of who he sees, he should consult an attorney.
Attorney & Certified Family Law Mediator
Hartsoe & Associates, P.C.
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