I have a car that has both my name and my ex-wife's name on the title. Will a judge remove her name if she hasn't paid anything on the car?

I paid all of the payments, but she's asking me to give her money before she will sign papers to take her name off of it. It wouldn't be fair that I have pay her after paying her half of the payments.

  • I flagged this question as "very low quality" because it is difficult to understand what you are trying to ask.
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 20:42
  • 3
    Before I answer, were you guys married at the time when the car was bought? If so, why was it not part of your divorce agreement to separate assets. If not married, why would you add her name?
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 21:02
  • Yes we married when we got car togother and when car put in court papers but juge said we had to make a agreement frist then come bavk to court when have one but i dont understand is i am one paying on car not her Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 21:58
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    Who pays depends on whose name is on the loan. Who owns the car depends on whose name is on the title. These are independent questions. If the two don't agree, and you can't mutually agreed resolve this amicably, you need lawyers involved and even that may not produce your preferred result. "Fair" is what you agreed to at the time of purchase, as far as the law is concerned
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:43
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    The only one who can say for certain what the judge will do is the judge.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 0:41

3 Answers 3


There are different options here.

  1. You could sue her in court (or a small claims court depending on the amount) and the judge could order her to pay back the amount she owes. In which case you will get your money back. You could also ask the judge to order that she sign over the title to just your name.
  2. Read the title carefully, some states do not require both seller's signature in order to transfer the title. If that's the case, you can refinance the existing loan and transfer the title to yourself. You will have to explain to the bank that you want to remove her name from the loan.
  3. If you are still legally married, it can be part of your divorce agreement, you can speak to your lawyer about how to divide up the assets.

Either way, ensure that you have a paper trail of all your payments. When in doubt, speak to a lawyer, there are many who offer free consultations.


She may be right. If she gets the usual thing of half the family assets gained during marriage, she's also entitled to half the car. Well, not quite.

Imagine you had sold the car at the time of divorce. You would have gotten some cash for it (this is typically shown in the Blue Book). And then you would have had to pay off the loan. So the cash value at that time, minus the loan owed at that time, was the equity in the car at that time. That would be a family asset and she'd have been entitled to half of it.

A lot of auto loans are a ripoff, so this might not be much money. Or could be zero. Or could even be negative - it's common to owe more on a car than it's worth, especially the first year after you buy it. In which case she owes you LOL.

The judge already dealt with this, and he did it by saying "you two get together and try to work it out", and come back to me with a proposed settlement." If you are at loggerheads, you can go back to the judge, but he may not give an answer you like.


First step is determine how much equity is in the car (positive or negative). Then for your car payments has that been paid out of money that has already been split or is it from a pool that is still to be slit. If the later, then it is irrelevant to this discussion since it was from a joint pool. If the money has already been split then adjust her half of the equity in the car by what you have been paying an make her that offer for her half of the car.

I recommend showing her the calculations so as to explain how you came with what she is owed and then let her make a counter offer.

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