Valuing Leased Vehicles in Your Marital Estate

Boca Raton family law attorney When dividing assets during your divorce, leased vehicles are often a source of dispute. You may need to work closely with your Boca Raton family law attorney to understand the logistics of your leased vehicle and determine how it should be calculated into the marital estate.

Asset or Liability?

The confusion over whether a leased car is an asset or liability stems from the fact that it is a little bit of both. It’s an asset because the lessee has access to the automobile. However, it’s also a liability because there is a contractual obligation to make lease payments.

To further confuse the matter, there are both true leases and lease purchases. The car is returned to the owner after the agreement is up when it’s a true lease. With a lease purchase it’s the lessee who takes ownership.

In many cases, the final payment on the lease is a telling factor. If the final payment is $1.00 or $10.00, it’s likely to be a lease purchase. If there is a much higher amount paid out in the end, say $5,000, then that’s a strong indication that purchase was not the ultimate intention of the lease. Your Boca Raton family lawyer will work closely with you to determine what type of arrangement you are dealing with.

Calculating Your Assets

What does the type of lease agreement mean for your marital estate? True leases are generally excluded from the marital assets; the liability offsets the value of the car. Your Boca Raton family law attorney will advise that lease purchases will be calculated in as if they are a vehicle purchase made with a down payment and ongoing payments. The number of remaining lease payments plus the buyout prevision determine the liability.

Calculating marital assets can be complicated and fraught with contention. To get the legal assistance you need, call 954-454-2605 to speak with a Boca Raton family law attorney at Addicott & Addicott, P.A.