Been together over 8 years with three children. Separated last May 2018 and gave her the Kia van for transporting the kids. Nothing in writing, only verbal. She has the title which is in his name only not signed
He is now talking to a lawyer about taking it back. He has the car bought with their earned income tax credit as was the van.
Can he do that?
He is wanting to borrow the van tomorrow and we're afraid he won't return it. What do we do?
When an unmarried couple has property obtained during the time they cohabited it is up to a court to decide how to divide the property. The court will look at evidence of what their intent was. So if you want property rights in the Van based on factors concerning the time you lived together you will have to file something in the court to figure this out.
I am not sure how you arrive at them having a joint unearned income tax credit - unmarried couples cannot legally file a joint tax return. Also there is no such thing as a common law marriage in Oregon. That said, it is possible that a court would still find that they have a joint interest in the van if it was purchased while they were living together and it was intended to be a family car.
Another way property is transferred is if it is gifted. However in this case the car title was not signed over to the women by the man in this relationship so that tends to indicate that he did not intend to completely gift the car to her.
As for him borrowing it, the title is in his name so he legally owns it. The fact that you have the original title in your possession is meaningless. He can simply go to the DMV and pay to get a replacement title. It is still in his name legally. If he truly intends for you to have the vehicle to transport his children perhaps the solution is to transfer the title to you, the mother, or to put the title in both parent's names.
What concerns me more is whether the vehicle is properly insured. This means that the insurance company needs to add to the policy the names of all people who drive the car and the insurance company has to have the address of where the car is normally parked when not being used. Failure to update the insurance company can result in a denial of coverage when you have an accident.
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