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After a divorce, you still need a means of transportation, especially if you’re going back to work. This can be more complicated than you may assume, so there are some important things to consider.

1. Do you get the car?

When assets are divided, are you going to get the family car? If you have two cars, will one be given to you and the other to your spouse? Never assume you know what’s going to happen; even if you have multiple vehicles, there’s a chance you won’t be given one. Look into all of your legal options and know what outcome to expect.

2. Can you afford one on your own?

If you don’t get a car, then you need to buy one. While this may have been easy to afford when you were married, is it just as easy now? This largely depends on your role in the family. If you worked and were the main breadwinner, buying a car may not be hard. If your spouse worked and you stayed home, it’s much more challenging.

3. Can you negotiate to get a vehicle?

If you’re not going to be given a car when the assets are split, is there something else you’d give up to get one? Consider your needs carefully. Another option is to negotiate for money that can be used to buy a vehicle. For example, you may allow your ex to take the car if you get the investment portfolio, and then you can cash it out and purchase a different vehicle.

There are many options, so the key here is to keep your need for a vehicle in mind and do what you can to make sure you get one.

Source: Good Financial Cents, “The Challenges of Getting a Car After Divorce,” Jeff Rose, accessed Jan. 20, 2016


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