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What could happen to a timeshare during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Divorce |

The more income people earn during marriage and the higher their standard of living is, the more complicated their personal holdings might be. Those who have enjoyed a higher standard of living during marriage may find it particularly difficult to negotiate property division matters when they divorce.

Certain resources can be more challenging to equitably or fairly divide at the end of a marriage. Real estate holdings can often be a challenge. A timeshare technically does not belong directly to the spouses. They own an interest in the property. That partial interest allows them to use the property for a set number of days or weeks each year. They typically have to pay maintenance fees as well.

How can those who acquired timeshare properties while married address these unique assets during a divorce?

Timeshares are liabilities, as well as assets

As previously mentioned, timeshares are not simply a possession that people can use at will. There are numerous restrictions imposed on timeshare owners, and they have ongoing financial obligations. Timeshare fees paid every year can sometimes be thousands of dollars in addition to the initial investment made in the timeshare.

Spouses can sometimes reach their own agreements about the disposition of a timeshare in a divorce. Only one spouse may enjoy the timeshare property, while the other may have tagged along on annual trips. Such compromises are common in marriage. If only one spouse particularly enjoys the timeshare, it is possible to arrange for them to keep it in the divorce by buying out the other spouse.

Other times, it might be financial considerations that determine who keeps the timeshare. If one spouse has far lower income and fewer assets than the other, they may not be able to afford the maintenance costs that accompany timeshare ownership. If spouses agree on terms, they can integrate the cost and liability that goes with assuming timeshare ownership into other property division decisions.

In some cases, spouses might even agree to sell the timeshare. At that point, they may divide the revenue generated by the transaction with one another as part of a broader property division settlement. Occasionally, both spouses feel an emotional attachment to a timeshare because of memories created there or relationships with others in the community. They may need to take the matter to court. In such cases, judges can determine the allocation of the timeshare when deciding other important property division terms for a divorcing couple.

Realizing that a timeshare could potentially be a source of conflict can help those preparing for an upcoming complex divorce. Those who identify challenging assets early in divorce negotiations can set goals that help guide the overall process toward success.