Whether you have a cabin in the Texas Hill Country, a house on Possum Kingdom Lake or a getaway somewhere else, you may wonder what happens to the property during your divorce. If your vacation home is part of the marital estate, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have an equal ownership interest in it.
Before deciding what to do with your vacation home, you should obtain a realistic valuation of the property. Then, you should consider your personal and financial goals to help you decide your getaway’s future. Here are three common options for addressing a vacation home during divorce.
1. Sell the property
Your vacation home may be one of your more valuable assets. To give you more cash to start your post-divorce life, you and your spouse may decide to sell the property and split the proceeds. If the home is in a tough market, though, this option may not be ideal. The same may be true if you have little equity in the vacation home.
2. Keep the property
If you love your vacation home, you may want to retain exclusive ownership of it after your divorce. To do so, you may be able to give up something of equal value during your settlement negotiations. On the other hand, if your spouse wants the property, it may be a valuable bargaining chip.
3. Negotiate a joint-use agreement
It may be possible for you and your spouse to continue to own the vacation home. If you go this route, you should negotiate a joint-use agreement. Addressing maintenance, occupancy and other matters may help you avoid future conflict.
Remember, you do not have to jointly own the property forever. Having a short-term joint-use agreement may give you time to do something else with your vacation home.