Ex Is Threatening to Take Our Vehicle

Updated on November 30, 2007
J.D. asks from Dallas, TX
6 answers

My 14 mo old's dad left us six months ago and moved to another state. He does not send us regular financial support, so I have filed for child support and have a mediation date set. Now that he's received the papers, he wants to come up with an agreement without going thru the mediation. The vehicle is in his and his dad's name (not mine)and he makes the payments on it. I consider him paying for the vehicle my only real form of financial support right now. He is threatening to take it away from us unless I agree to drop the custody hearing. What are my rights? Do I have any way to keep him from taking the vehicle, at least until custody is settled and/or divorce? I was holding off on divorce until I had money to get a lawyer and could hopefully at least get custody squared away. I understand he can come and take the vehicle, even if it is half mine by way of marriage, but want to know if I can prevent him from doing so until a divorce decree is settled.

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answers from Houston on

Dear J.:
Until you are divorced, you are still married. That means you share things, so you can use his car. To take it away, he'd have to come and get it (which he could, but he'd have to actually come and get it). I don't think he could repossess it or sue you over it. Follow through with everything else, or you'll regret it later (unless you want to reconcile).

The court will decide who gets what, so if you don't get the car, you will likely get a few other things and definitely some child support. Then you can buy your own.

Either way, you don't want to depend on your ex, and you should want to legally be divorced to start a new life.




answers from Dallas on

Of course he wants to stay out of mediation because he knows that an impartial third party will do what's fair. He is trying to control, intimidate, and manipulate you.
In Texas, child support for one child is 20% of the noncustodial parent's monthly check (wages are automatically garnished through the child support office). I think you each pay $24 yearly for processing/postage. He will have to provide proof of earnings. In addition, he will need to pay for her health insurance and the two of you will split any uncovered medical costs.
Get your papers for divorce filed immediately. You can collect TEMPORARY spousal support from the date of separation to the finalization of the decree.
It depends upon how much the car payment is as to whethrer the mediator will count it towards or consider it child suppport. He may owe you back child support.
The court/mediator will not look favorably upon a parent who comes and takes the custodial parent's only form of transportation. I'm guessing you just have access to the one car. If he takes the car, how will he explain such petty actions to the court/mediator? He has left his child stranded? What is there's an emergency, etc.?
If he takes the car, and leaves you without, the court/mediator will either tell him to give it back or provide $ upfront for you to obtain another vehicle. No court will leave you without a car.
Keep your mediation date. You may want to try to get it moved up based upon his threats. Don't bargin with him. It doesn't sound as though he has your or your child's best interest at heart. I don't think you can trust him.
Maybe you can vary where you park the car? If not, and he takes the car, oh, well. It'll be tough for you guys at first, but it will be that much tougher for him in court.
Stay strong! Think of yourself and your child. Do what's best for the two of you. Oh, abandonment in Texas is three years and is rarely used. Good luck!!!



answers from Beaumont on

I don't think you can really do anything about the car cause it isn't in your name. You can always go talk to a lawyer for a free consoltation and see what he/she says about it. But don't give in at all to what he is trying to do. If he sees that you were scared and backed down for this then he will always try something else to see if you will give in to what he wants. He is the daddy and he needs to help with the expenses no matter what.



answers from Dallas on

My mom works for an attorny's office and she has told me that if my husband and I seperated or divorced then he would have to provide me with a vehicle to get the kids back and forthe to school or child care so that I could work. Now we have 2 vehicles so it may be that if a couple divorces and owns 2 vehicles then he would have to let me have one. I would talk to an attorney about it. Hope all works out for you.



answers from Dallas on

I would call a lawyer.. you may have to make a down payment to retain them and then they can serve papers where if he came and got the vehicle he would be in trouble with the law...

Other than hide it, that is about all you can probably do. Depending on how mad he is, you could walk in the store and come back to find it gone and that wouldn't be good... Don't back down on your custody though...

Good luck to you



answers from Dallas on

I agree with the adive of Patricia C.

But TX law states the Abdoment has to be the duration of 1 YEAR.

Legal Seperation is THREE YEARS.

Here is a link to help with Tx Divorce Laws:

Regarding giving up the car...I wouldn't do it until the courts tell you to. Since the car is in his dad's name as well you may not have rights to the car. BUT, if it was purchased during the marriage and is in your husbands name as well...it could be considered Community Property. It will prob be determined by a judge. The judge may let you keep the car as part of Financial support.


By law he has to pay child support, health ins, and half of child care expenses.

Good luck and be strong!

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