Restoring a classic car is a fantastic hobby. After all, not only do you use your mechanical knowledge, but you also put your own sense of style into the finished product. This past weekend the annual Woodward Dream Cruise zoomed by our office in Pontiac and south down the Woodward Corridor, so it made us think more about classic cars.
Chances are that vehicle has taken both your time and your money to help maintain and/or restore. If you are going through a divorce, though, you may wonder what happens to your classic car, whether it’s made of muscle and speed like a 1964 Pontiac GTO or is more of a Sunday drive vehicle like a 1928 Ford Model A.
Marital property is any property, or debt, acquired during the marriage from the date of the wedding until the judgment of divorce is entered. Marital property is subject to division between the parties. Property division in Michigan follows the rule of equitable distribution. Given that, your spouse may have the right to legal ownership of your classic car even if they have no personal interest in it.
So, what can you do? Work with Kevin Green and the experienced divorce attorneys at Bashore Green Law Group. They can walk you through issues like these.
Is your project car a marital asset?
Typically, marital property is everything either you or your spouse acquire after you say, “I do.” While there are exceptions to this rule, your project car is likely marital property if you purchased it after you married your spouse. The same is true for the parts you intend to install on the vehicle. If you plan to sell the rebuilt car in the future, the proceeds of the sale may also be part of the marital estate.
Must you sell your classic car?
Even though you have likely invested significantly in your vehicle, it may or may not be ready to sell. Or you may not want to sell it. While divorcing spouses regularly decide to sell assets and split the proceeds, you probably have some other options.
If you want to keep the vehicle, you may be able to buy out your spouse’s ownership interest. Before choosing this option, you should recognize the inherent difficulty in appraising classic cars. Finding an appraiser to value the vehicle may be helpful. Alternatively, you may be able to give your spouse something of similar value in exchange for the vehicle you love.
Either way, before heading to divorce court, you may want to negotiate your project car’s future with your spouse.
Bashore Green can help make these decisions if you are getting divorced
Managing partner Kevin Green and our experienced divorce attorneys at Bashore Green Law Group can help you create a plan to keep your most prized possessions if you are in the process of a divorce. Call us at 248-487-1887 and ask for Kevin or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.