Q: I have a question about possession of a car after a divorce in Pennsylvania.
I have a divorce question. My ex wife and I separated in March of 2017 and divorced in July of 2018. We had only one car that was in my name and was gifted to me after my father died. She was in need of a car for commuting, and since I was moving to NYC at the time and wouldn't need a car, I agreed to allow her to use it until the end of July 2019. Now she is asking me to pay half of the cars value to get it back from her. What is my legal standing here? Also, does the fact that she assumed the cost of insurance and maintenance while using the car make any difference?
A: Based only on the information provided, assuming there is no property settlement agreement or court order giving her the car or dividing the value of the car between you, it remains your car.
Under Pennsylvania law, property gifted to you by a family member is excluded from the definition of marital property. Here, it appears your father gifted you a vehicle, and you allowed your spouse to have temporary use of the property.
Below see the definition of marital property and what property is excluded. Based on the information you provided, the car is not marital property.
(a) General rule.--As used in this chapter, "marital property" means all property acquired by either party during the marriage and the increase in value of any nonmarital property acquired pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3) as measured and determined under subsection (a.1). However, marital property does not include:
(3) Property acquired by gift, except between spouses, bequest, devise or descent or property acquired in exchange for such property.
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