I was married in May of 2012. My ex had purchased a new Jeep in 2010 when she discovered we were pregnant with our first child. In March 2011, her original interest rate was literally 15% on the approved loan for the Jeep...so since I was paying for it anyway... I in essence purchased the Jeep from her, she signed over the title and I titled and registered it in my name with a much lower finance rate. So again...purchased the Jeep in 2011 and married her in 2012.
Does she have any claim to this asset since it is separate property in NC? I want to sell it and use the money to pay down other debts...can I?
The jeep technically is a mixed asset. If it had been titled and paid off before marriage it would be your separate property. But if funds,earned during the marriage were used to pay off the debt, to the extent such payments created equity in the jeeo, that equity is marital. There may not be any equity and generally it's nit worth arguing over limited value in vehicles. If there is no equity and it's titled in your name you can possess it.
The best thing to do if she won't cooperate is to consult an attorney and file for a property distribution and seek an interim distribution of the jeep to you. She may not oppose this at all.
Yes she can. If you want the vehicle, file a suit for equitable distribution and a motion for interim distribution. You may get the car, but you may still owe her 1/2 the net marital portion of the value if any. Contact and consult with a local family law attorney for more detailed advice.
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