As summer approaches, those of us with timeshare properties consider which weeks of our vacation we'll be spending there. However, timeshares can be too often forgotten in divorce. This is particularly true if a couple hasn't used their timeshare in awhile, perhaps because they haven't felt like vacationing together -- no matter how idyllic the destination.
Basically, there are three options for dealing with a timeshare that a couple purchased together during their marriage when they divorce.
Some couples opt to keep the property and share it. If your split is amicable enough that you can at least communicate about who will be there when, and you can both afford to pay your share of it, this may be a good option. Further, if you have children who enjoy spending time there, you can both use it as a vacation destination. Not too many kids say no to a couple of separate weeks at the beach or on the ski slopes every year.
If you choose to share it, it's essential to address how much each spouse will pay and how the time they are allotted each year will be divided. The fewer details you have to work out later on, the better.
Award It to One Spouse
If one spouse wants to keep it and the other doesn't, that spouse can buy out the other one. You'll need to have it appraised. You'll likely then split any equity that you have in the property. If you still owe money it, you'll need to codify in your divorce agreement how that debt will be paid off.
If neither one of you wants to keep it and/or you need the money for other things, you can sell it. Timeshares can be more difficult to sell than other properties, and they are considered a depreciating asset. However, if you'd prefer to take a potential loss rather than continue to pay for it, this may be your best option.
There are a variety of ways to list timeshare properties, including sites like TUG, where timeshare properties are bought and sold. You may also choose to go through a real estate agent or broker. You'll need to determine in your divorce agreement how the two of you will divide the assets from the sale.
Whatever you decide to do, it's best to make that determination before or during the divorce so that you aren't still dealing with it (and your ex) later on if you don't need to. Your family law attorney can provide guidance and work to get you the best possible outcome, no matter what your decision is on your timeshare property.
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