Tag: doctor

Can I sell or trade in the family car while divorce proceedings are pending?

Can I sell or trade in the family car while divorce proceedings are pending?

How would a spouse in process of divorce go about trading her van that is in both spouses name, if the other spouse is uncooperative? Would surrendering her van to the bank be an alternative?

If you owe more on the van than it is worth and don’t depend upon the van for essential transportation needs, then if you were to sell the van such that you’d be left with just the loan deficiency (the difference between the amount the van was worth or sold for and the remaining balance of the loan), you’d probably not be punished. It would be hard for anyone to argue or for a court to conclude that by getting rid of a van worth less than the loan encumbering it you destroyed, dissipated, or diminished an “asset” that had a negative value. And if your spouse agrees (get it in writing!) you can sell the van, you’re fully in the clear.

Bear in mind, however, that many states have an “ATRO” rule (automatic temporary restraining order) that provides that in every divorce action that concerns the division of property then neither party may transfer, encumber, conceal, or dispose of any property of either party without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, except in the usual course of business or to provide for the necessities of life. Violation of this rule can result in you being sanctioned for contempt of court. Other states that don’t have ATROs in divorce cases can still provide for the judge to enter a restraining order at the outset of a divorce case that, among other things, restrains you and your spouse from transferring or disposing of any marital property without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court.

Also bear in mind that if your credit is already bad and you won’t be able to qualify for a new loan for a replacement vehicle, you may be better off paying the loan for a vehicle you have in hand. And if 1) your spouse depended on using that van to get to work or the doctor or the store, etc., 2) your spouse does not want the van sold, and 3) by selling the van you would deprive your spouse of his/her only means of transportation, the court would likely frown on that and order you to provide or pay for a replacement vehicle.

The safest way to sell off the van or trade the van in for a different vehicle is to move the court (file a motion with the court) for permission to sell the van or trade the van in for a different vehicle. Now just because you filed the motion does not necessarily mean the court will grant that motion.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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Do you agree with the decision to temporarily take custody from an ER doctor’s child due to potential exposure to COVID-19?

Do you think it’s fair that a judge temporarily stripped Dr. Theresa Greene, of North Miami, of custody of her 4-year-old daughter because the doctor works with COVID-19 patients?

Do you agree or disagree with the decision of Circuit Court Judge Bernard Shapiro to temporarily take away custody of an ER doctor’s child, and give her ex-husband full temporary custody, due to the potential her child could be exposed to COVID-19?

I disagree with Judge Shapiro.

Up front I acknowledge that reasonable minds can differ on whether Judge Shapiro made the correct decision (I think it’s more reasonable not to rule as he did). And I don’t know all the facts but having been a divorce and family law attorney for the past 23 years, on its face this has the look and smell of a parent seeking to exploit COVID-19 worries for self-serving purposes, not for the protection of the children.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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