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What are your options for your timeshare property in a divorce?

As you and your spouse end your marriage, one of the more valuable assets -- and perhaps one of the more complicated ones -- may be a timeshare property.

Basically, there are three options for dealing with it:

  • The two of you sell it and split the proceeds.
  • One of you buys out the other's share and keeps it.
  • You agree to continue to share it.

Let's look at the three options in a little more detail.

You both agree to sell the timeshare: Many couples decide that they'd rather use the money they're spending on the timeshare on other things. Perhaps you both would rather move on from those memories, especially if your children are grown.

Anyone who sells a timeshare needs to be cautious. There are a lot of less-than-legitimate brokers and resellers out there. You want to get an accurate value of the property and find a real estate agent who can help you, or you may opt to sell it yourselves. Your attorney may be able to offer some advice.

One of you buys out the other: Often, a timeshare property means more to one spouse than another. If you buy out your spouse, you'll need to have the property assessed. However, sometimes one spouse will agree to walk away from it and ask for something else in return. However you decide to do this, you'll need to get your agreement carefully detailed. Remember that if you're keeping it, you'll probably be the one paying the ongoing fees.

You agree to keep it and share it. Some couples decide that this is the preferable choice, especially if they still have children who enjoy their vacations there. Even if you don't have kids, you may each want to vacation there -- separately -- as newly single people.

If you opt to share it, you'll need to work out a division of the fees as well as a schedule for who will be there when. If your timeshare agreement allows you two weeks every year, for example, you may want to each take a week each year or perhaps alternate years.

As you explore these options for dealing with your timeshare and decide which is best for you, talk with your attorney about the best way to proceed in order to protect your financial interests.

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