State of Florida
I cannot afford an attorney. I am filling all paperwork on my own. The cost of filing has been waived by Broward county because of my financial situation. I have researched as much as I can possibly find. This is a 29 year marriage, no minor children, no property except for a car. The title is in my husband's (respondent) name but I physically have the car. He collects a substantial amount of insurance disability monthly. I have absolutely no income. I am frantically searching for a job. I currently have an order of protection but it has not been served since respondent cannot be located. (severe alcohol and drug abuse) I am currently in the "newspaper ad" search portion of the divorce. How can I legally become the titled owner of the vehicle if the respondent cannot be located. Please advise. I can not afford to buy a car and desperately need this vehicle to properly search for employment and ultimately maintain employment. I am 60 years old.
If I understand your question, you can be awarded sole title to the vehicle by the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. You would need to specifically plead your entitlement in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. When the Final Judgment is prepared, it must specifically describe the vehicle including the year, make, model, and VIN, so that you can then take a certified copy to the DMV and have the title reissued in your name.
While it is possible to obtain a title, it does not make it legal absent proper foundation. What it appears you are proposing is tantamount to theft of the vehicle and that could get you into more trouble than the car is worth. Absent an order granting you the right to title the car in your name, you could be setting yourself up for a major issue down the line.
Please be advised that nothing in this posting is meant to supplement the advice of an attorney and The Law Office of Robert J. Lee, P.A. and/or Robert J. Lee has not undertaken any professional responsibility with regard to your case unless otherwise agreed. RJL is licensed to practice law in FL and MA, but no other jurisdictions. Nothing stated herein should be implied as legal advice.
I agree with Ms. Jacobs. If you complete the service by publication, complying with all of the legal requirements, and you have pled that the vehicle should be awarded to you, the court will have the authority to make that award if your husband defaults.
This also obtains elements of foreclosure law and issues regarding conflict of interest.
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