When it comes to a timeshare, your options are the same as any other asset that you have to valuate and divide during the process of a divorce. You can sell the timeshare (which is nearly impossible), share the property, or have one spouse buy the other spouse out. This last option is also rather tricky because more frequently than not, neither spouse wants to keep the timeshare.
Over time, timeshares accrue maintenance fees that can balloon over the years. And while a timeshare seemed like a good investment to make while you were on vacation with your family, in hindsight, while you’re working through your divorce, taking ownership of a timeshare is now an unwanted expense. If you are like many other divorcing couples and you and your spouse are regretting your timeshare, your best option is to sell it and split the proceeds.
You may find that in selling your timeshare, you are losing money. That is because timeshares often depreciate in value over time. However, in some rare instances, timeshares actually appreciate in value. A broker can assist you in selling your timeshare or you can put your timeshare on the market to find a private buyer.
If selling your timeshare seems like too much of a hassle, you may want to share the asset. The benefit to using this option is that you won’t take the same financial loss that you would have if you sold the timeshare on the open market. The downside is that it will force you to keep some level of communication with your former spouse. If you find that you and your spouse are still amicable in the midst of your divorce, this may be a reasonable option for you. It is important, however, to include your intent to share the timeshare in a separation agreement. The provision needs to include how the maintenance fee will be paid and when each party will be using the timeshare.
The final option that we’ve mentioned is letting one spouse keep the share and paying the spouse half the value of the timeshare (either in cash or with another asset). You may find it difficult to put an actual value on a timeshare because in some instances a timeshare can be a liability rather than an asset. To determine the value, you can either let your attorney dig into the financial paperwork of the share, or you can have the timeshare appraised.
In sum, a timeshare is an asset or liability, and if it is marital, it’s subject to division just like all other marital property. You need to decide how you want to approach handling a timeshare.