What you will need to do this
You will need to be certain that you have vehicle insurance in your own name for it. You will need to have proof of insurance, a valid driver’s license and current inspection. You will need to have a certified copy of your Final Decree of Divorce. You may have a power of attorney to transfer the title which was signed by your ex. You may have a release of lien as well (see below).
What about the car payments?
Remember that if you were awarded the debt on the vehicle it will be your responsibility to pay off any lien. If it was paid by your ex, be prepared to bring the release of lien with you to the Department of Motor Vehicles along with the other paperwork.
How to do it
Go to the county tax office with all of the documentation listed in this article to transfer the title. Be prepared to pay a title transfer fee. For more information see the Texas DMV website.
Where things usually go wrong
The most common reason that this is not accomplished in a timely manner is usually because of the divorcing parties, not the Attorneys and not the Department of Motor Vehicles! It is quite common for one or both of the divorcing parties to procrastinate in this task. It is certainly understandable, because it seems like there is so much to go through to get a divorce. But, don’t let up now! You are almost finished!
How to make it easier
Respond immediately to any requests from your attorney’s office about this important step! If you have to sign documents to help any property transfer to your ex, do so right away! Encourage your ex to do the same. You can transfer a vehicle yourself after your divorce, but do ask your attorney if you need help. Feel free to ask questions of your attorney or her paralegal.
Didn’t transfer vehicle, now you have problems?
If you had a divorce in the past and did not properly transfer the vehicle and are now having problems, you can contact the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles for instructions. Or, you can contact an attorney for help. If you are consulting with your prior divorce attorney, and your divorce happened years ago, your file will likely be closed and your file may not be easily accessible. So, take a copy of your decree to your legal consult. If you are contacting a new lawyer, he will want to see a copy of your decree as well.
There are many different situations
This blog is intended to be general information, not specific legal advice for your own situation. Also, forms and procedures at government offices may change from time to time. Make sure to follow your own attorney’s advice, and gather your own information to be sure you are doing the right thing.