Often in high-asset divorces, one spouse moves to a nearby vacation home while the divorce is underway. Of course, that living arrangement won’t last forever. During your divorce, you and your spouse will need to decide how to use the vacation home moving forward. Will you continue to share the property and use it at different times? Will one spouse keep the vacation home? Will you sell the home and split the proceeds?
If you can’t decide what to do, the court may have to decide for you.
The Sentimental Value of a Vacation Home
Although not as central to your marriage as your primary residence, your vacation home can have a great deal of sentimental value. If you and your family spent a lot of time in the home, you may want to hold on to the good memories.
You may also want to keep the property for family reunions or future vacations with your children.
Although you should think about what your vacation home means to you, you will also need to consider your options from an economic standpoint. For example, if you cannot afford to maintain a vacation home without your spouse, you should not fight for sole ownership during your divorce.
How Much Is Your Vacation Home Worth?
Getting divorced and adjusting to a new life can be expensive, so selling your vacation home might be the best option for both you and your spouse. During your divorce, hire an appraiser to help you understand the current market value of your vacation home.
Again, thinking about your vacation home on economic terms can help you decide what you should do with it. After speaking to an appraiser, you will have a better understanding of how much your home can be sold for – and whether you should sell it.
Consider Your Relationship with Your Spouse
If you and your spouse are parting on good terms, you may be able to share your vacation home. Sharing can be a good option when it is not a good time to sell, and when you and your spouse are both interested in keeping the property. If you’re not on good terms, however, this could simply lead to more conflict later.
No matter how angry you may be, don’t fight your spouse for the vacation home if you do not want it. If you are willing to let your soon-to-be ex have the house, you can use this to your advantage during other negotiations. If you’d really like to keep the new car you just bought, for instance, offering your spouse the vacation home could be an appropriate trade.
Refinancing Your Vacation Property
When you decide who will get the vacation home, you should also decide who will be responsible for the mortgage. If both names are on the mortgage note, you and your ex will be responsible for it, even if you’re divorced.
Refinancing your vacation home can help you remove one spouse’s name from the mortgage and reallocate the debt to the appropriate partner.
Handling Sophisticated Financial Issues
Money can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, and vacation homes are usually high-value properties. To save yourself time, money, and heartache, you should try to decide what to do with your vacation home before entering the courtroom.
Ford & Friedman can help you negotiate an arrangement that works for you and your family and provide honest assessments and viable legal options.
If you want to keep your vacation home or need help handling a high-asset divorce, please do not hesitate to call us at (702) 904-9898 or contact us online.