A vacation home is a marital asset subject to division by the court. Vacation Homes can present some unique problems, however, in a divorce. For example, what if the property is jointly owned with one spouse’s family – how much is the other spouse entitled to? The value of the property generally will be worth less if you don’t own 100% of the property.
Co-owners generally have equal access to the property which can create tension between the parties and other family members. The parties may disagree with the other family members about who can use the property, who is responsible for maintaining the property, and ultimately whether the property should be sold. In some cases, the parties may rent the property during the year; if this is the case, then the division of the income also needs to be addressed.
If you are contemplating divorce or have been served with divorce papers and are concerned about how a vacation home, time share, or travel miles or perks will be divided between you and your spouse, we invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced New Albany divorce and asset division attorney. For over two decades, Mattox Wilson has helped Indiana residents navigate the perils of divorce, successfully securing the most favorable outcomes possible.
While not really vacation homes, timeshares often come up in divorce cases as well. A timeshare interest generally allows a person to use a property for a week or two at a specific location (often people try to trade their weeks for the right to use a property at a different location). The parties pay a certain amount for their original interest, but then pay yearly maintenance fees for an indefinite period.
Timeshare interests are often difficult to value or sell. In a recent case, the parties purchased timeshare interests which cost over $40,000. One person tried to value them at the cost of these interests, but ultimately both parties agreed that they probably had little to no value. The parties often decide to simply give the interest back in exchange for a release from future maintenance fees. In some cases, the parties must pay the timeshare company to get out of their contract.
In a few cases, the parties may also argue about vacation related perks – such as frequent flier miles or travel credits. Due to COVID, many people had to cancel vacations and did not receive refunds, but future travel credits. In some cases, those credits may be worth several thousand dollars. We had one case where one party had frequent flier miles which were worth several thousand dollars due to the large amount of business travel he did over the years.
Vacation homes, time shares, frequent flier miles, and other travel rewards can have significant value, making it critical to understand your rights to such assets during a divorce. If you are concerned with retaining valuable leisure properties or perks, we invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation today. As experienced Indiana divorce and asset division lawyers, we can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and tenaciously fight to protect your best interests.