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    • MySonEd
    • By MySonEd 23rd Jan 19, 9:14 AM
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    MySonEd
    Can husband have wife arrested for using family car without husband's permission?
    • #1
    • 23rd Jan 19, 9:14 AM
    Can husband have wife arrested for using family car without husband's permission? 23rd Jan 19 at 9:14 AM
    My daughter is going through a divorce. The financial settlement is still ongoing.

    The family car is in husband's name.

    Question: Can my daughter's husband threaten to have her arrested for using the car without his permission?

    Background: My daughter currently lives in the family home. Husband has moved back to his flat.

    The family car was left with my daughter when husband removed from house by police. Husband has his own car.

    My daughter uses the family car for taking kids to school, to after-school activities, kids parties, funfairs, shopping, and all the usual stuff. She's at least 20 minutes walk from school and nearest shops. We estimate that for over 90% of car use, there was at least one kid in car.

    Husband is relentlessly step-by-step trying to make my daughter's life as inconvenient as possible - even if that means also inconveniencing 3 kids (aged 3, 5, 8).

    Car is in husband's name. He pays the insurance. It expired recently. He refused to pay the renewal. I was going to pay the renewal. When husband found out, he then announced that he would have my daughter arrested for "using the car without his permission".

    So, to repeat the above question: Is husband legally entitled to have my daughter arrested if we insure the car and she then drives it without his permission?
Page 2
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 24th Jan 19, 8:53 AM
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    pollypenny
    When we ordered my car in January 07 we were able to register it in both our names.

    That common sense solution has stopped. Surely family cars are family assets.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 24th Jan 19, 9:11 AM
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    Comms69
    When we ordered my car in January 07 we were able to register it in both our names.

    That common sense solution has stopped. Surely family cars are family assets.
    Originally posted by pollypenny


    No you weren't able to do that.


    Nor is registering it an indication of ownership.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 24th Jan 19, 9:13 AM
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    Nick_C
    The car sounds like property of the marriage.. .
    Originally posted by Accountant_Kerry
    Does this phrase have any meaning in English law?

    I can only see it as applying to a small number of US States
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 24th Jan 19, 12:53 PM
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    NBLondon
    Isn't there a difference between a presumed joint asset for divorce purposes and the current legal owner of the vehicle?

    If husband bought and paid for the car and his name is on the invoice/receipt then it is his property unless a court orders it otherwise. He may have given tacit permission for it to be used as a "family car" but that does not transfer ownership and if he revokes that permission then Nick_C and Comms69 are right - he could (if he wants to be awkward) report it as stolen and the daughter could be committing the offence of Taking Without Owner's Consent.

    itsanne has only bolded part of a sentence and maybe misinterpreted the meaning - that advice is actually saying that they would not pursue one partner for unknowingly allowing the other to drive uninsured. In this case - his refusal to renew would indicate that he did know she was uninsured on that car and his only defence would be to declare that it was TWOC'ed. Mind you - he should also have declared the car SORN - better check he didn't think of that or that's potentially another offence if she drives it.
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 24th Jan 19, 2:27 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    In this case - his refusal to renew would indicate that he did know she was uninsured on that car and his only defence would be to declare that it was TWOC'ed. Mind you - he should also have declared the car SORN - better check he didn't think of that or that's potentially another offence if she drives it.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    You can check a car's status online if you know the registration no. MOT, tax, insurance. Worth doing, IMO. Start here, there's a link for tax and somewhere there will be one for MOT as well.
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    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 24th Jan 19, 10:50 PM
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    itsanne
    Isn't there a difference between a presumed joint asset for divorce purposes and the current legal owner of the vehicle?

    If husband bought and paid for the car and his name is on the invoice/receipt then it is his property unless a court orders it otherwise. He may have given tacit permission for it to be used as a "family car" but that does not transfer ownership and if he revokes that permission then Nick_C and Comms69 are right - he could (if he wants to be awkward) report it as stolen and the daughter could be committing the offence of Taking Without Owner's Consent.

    itsanne has only bolded part of a sentence and maybe misinterpreted the meaning - that advice is actually saying that they would not pursue one partner for unknowingly allowing the other to drive uninsured. In this case - his refusal to renew would indicate that he did know she was uninsured on that car and his only defence would be to declare that it was TWOC'ed. Mind you - he should also have declared the car SORN - better check he didn't think of that or that's potentially another offence if she drives it.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    In my opinion, in the police advice above, not pursuing one partner is simply an example of the effect of joint ownership. I bolded part of the sentence simply because it summarised the answer to the OP's question. If a car is jointly owned, a couple's separation doesn't mean that it can be unilaterally claimed by one any more than any other joint asset such as a house.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 25th Jan 19, 8:17 AM
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    Comms69
    In my opinion, in the police advice above, not pursuing one partner is simply an example of the effect of joint ownership. I bolded part of the sentence simply because it summarised the answer to the OP's question. If a car is jointly owned, a couple's separation doesn't mean that it can be unilaterally claimed by one any more than any other joint asset such as a house.
    Originally posted by itsanne


    I'll use my previous example.


    Husband comes to the house, empties the contents and leaves. Are you suggesting that the police would deem that legitimate; it's 'jointly owned' afterall.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 25th Jan 19, 9:19 AM
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    Marvel1
    Correct.

    BTW: My daughter stopped driving the car immediately after his demand.
    Originally posted by MySonEd
    Looks like husband will receive a letter from DVLA soon, first about a warning for no insurance and then a fine (providing it is taxed).
    • itsanne
    • By itsanne 25th Jan 19, 5:12 PM
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    itsanne
    I'll use my previous example.


    Husband comes to the house, empties the contents and leaves. Are you suggesting that the police would deem that legitimate; it's 'jointly owned' afterall.
    Originally posted by Comms69

    What makes you think everything would be jointly owned? He could certainly remove some things, though having been removed by the police might mean he can't go into the house. However, debating how much an estranged spouse (male or female) in general could legitimately take would be a red herring as far as the OP's question is concerned. The police site's answer was specifically about a car used by a married couple.
    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 26th Jan 19, 6:22 PM
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    rach_k
    Even if people here tell you it's a jointly owned car, will she be able to drive it feeling 100% confident? I do tend to worry about things but if I knew it was a possibility that the car I was driving would be reported as stolen and I could be pulled over, I'd stop driving it until the separation was sorted. If her ex told the Police the full story, they may well refuse to get involved but how easy would it be for him to just say it's been stolen? They might stop her and then let her go on her way once she explains but is it worth the stress? It sounds like she has enough to worry about at the moment. If I could help my daughter avoid that, I would.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 28th Jan 19, 7:41 AM
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    Comms69
    What makes you think everything would be jointly owned?- Oh this will be fun, so which bits are jointly owned? He could certainly remove some things, though having been removed by the police might mean he can't go into the house. - unlikely. However, debating how much an estranged spouse (male or female) in general could legitimately take would be a red herring as far as the OP's question is concerned. The police site's answer was specifically about a car used by a married couple.
    Originally posted by itsanne


    ok... I just realised I'm debating someone with an agenda but without a clue.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 12th Feb 19, 6:35 AM
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    unholyangel
    I doubt that she would be arrested for theft, as there has to be an intention to permanently deprive. But she could be arrested and charged for taking the vehicle without consent.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    All thats required to show intent to permanently deprive is for you to treat the item as your own/in a way thats inconsistent with the owners rights. Which is why its still theft to steal money and then replace it with equivalent notes later, because you still took their money and are unable to return it exactly as it existed before you stole it.

    But twoc doesn't require intent to permanently deprive.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • paddedjohn
    • By paddedjohn 17th Feb 19, 2:15 AM
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    paddedjohn
    Worth pointing out that if the insurance has now ended it needs to either be insured again or have a SORN if parked on the road etc.
    Originally posted by Grezz24
    If it's not taxed or insured then it must be on Sorn AND stored off the road.
    Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 17th Feb 19, 6:52 AM
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    unforeseen
    In the case of a car used by a married couple, ownership of any property is usually classed as joint and if the husband was stopped driving the vehicle without insurance the police would probably accept that he was joint owner and not look to the wife for additional offences, such as owner permitting no insurance
    Originally posted by itsanne
    That is wrong. There have been cases in court where either the spouse has been prosecuted for allowing the person to use the vehicle when not insured or convictions where the spouse has reported the person for TWOC to prevent a charge of allowing an uninsured driver to use the vehicle.

    It may be joint assets when it comes to divorce bu that is as far as it goes. I think whoever wrote that has extrapolated (badly) from the company car scenario without really understanding
    • gday064
    • By gday064 18th Feb 19, 3:58 PM
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    gday064
    If its parked on your drive... there's an argument there that he's leaving it for your daughter/the kids. What an awful guy.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 19th Feb 19, 7:46 AM
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    Comms69
    If its parked on your drive... there's an argument there that he's leaving it for your daughter/the kids. What an awful guy.
    Originally posted by gday064


    There's literally not enough info to start throwing around names.
    • Redacted
    • By Redacted 20th Feb 19, 11:28 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    Redacted
    https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q830.htm
    https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q679.htm
    https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q871.htm

    Additionally, is the car owned outright or is there any finance attached? If itís a PCP/PCH, your daughter may need to aquaint herself with the terms of the contract to determine if she can keep driving the vehicle.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 20th Feb 19, 12:48 PM
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    unforeseen
    830 makes the same mistake as the other one that was quoted. There is nothing in road traffic regulations that can class a vehicle as joint assets for any potential offence. It is either the owner (the person whose name is on the receipt or contract), the keeper (the person named on the V5c) or the driver. There is nothing there to say that Freda can drive it because she is married to Fred who bought the vehicle and is the registered keeper as well as having the purchase receipt in his name and can't be used in any mitigation. It is Fred's car and if he says that Freda can't drive it then that will be TWOC if she does.

    Unfortunately police tend to get sloping shoulders when it comes to couples and claim it is a civil dispute because their little brains are struggling to work things out.
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 20th Feb 19, 12:57 PM
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    NBLondon
    There is nothing there to say that Freda can drive it because she is married to Fred who bought the vehicle and is the registered keeper as well as having the purchase receipt in his name and can't be used in any mitigation
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Is it not just an assumption that a spouse does have permission unless otherwise stated viz.
    . It is Fred's car and if he says that Freda can't drive it then that will be TWOC if she does.
    but if Fred is not available to state that; the assumption is that Freda has permission. Where permission was given (openly or tactily) in the past - the police are assuming it remains until explicitly withdrawn.
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 20th Feb 19, 5:52 PM
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    unforeseen
    So you are saying that if stopped and asked whether you have permission to drive a vehicle not in your name then it is a valid defence to say my spouse has let me drive it before so I have permission? I don't think so

    What ask the police say is not what happens in real life. They will want to speak to the registered keeper/owner and confirm before saying its OK. These sort of situations have even been shown on programs such as Police Interceptors where the spouse who is the keeper has been given the option of reporting TWOC or being charged with allowing a person to drive who is not insured.
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