Splitting a Timeshare in an Arizona Divorce
How To Deal With A Timeshare During Property Division?
For someone who travels frequently, a timeshare can be a great way to secure a nice vacation rental that’s big enough for their family. While many are leery of making the commitment to a timeshare, some couples who have made a commitment to each other don’t see the big deal in signing up for a timeshare. If the couple ever divorces, they will need to consider the timeshare when in the property division stage of divorce. It could be a treasured asset that the couple will fight over, or it could be viewed more as a burden that both spouses would like to dispense onto the other. A family law attorney can help you best decide how to leverage assets in a divorce to achieve your desired outcome. To schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Phoenix family law lawyers, call 480-470-1504.
Community Property in an Arizona Divorce
When it comes to divorce, Arizona categorizes all assets into debts by either community property or separate property. Community property is considered part of the marital estate and must be split evenly between the couples by a judge if the spouses can’t reach their own agreement out of court. Everything acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered community property- that includes income and pension contributions, and it also includes if one spouse goes and takes out a loan without the other spouse’s knowledge. Separate property is property (and debt) acquired before the couple got married, as well as property acquired by either spouse through gift or inheritance. Property acquired after a divorce petition has been filed is also separate property. This is all set forth by A.R.S. § 25-211.
Separate property and community property can also become commingled. For example, if one spouse inherited a property but used community property funds to make improvements and conduct maintenance on the property, it may be commingled so that the other spouse would be due a share should they ever divorce. An example of how a timeshare could be commingled is if it was purchased with a bank account that was part separate property funds and part community property funds. Here, the spouse’s shares in the asset could be difficult to discern. If you have questions about how community property laws affect your timeshare, schedule your free consultation by calling 480-470-1504.
Options For Dealing with a Timeshare in Property Division
You and your spouse’s individual goals will impact the best solution for dealing with your timeshare during property division. One spouse may wish to continue using the timeshare, or both, or neither.
- Exit the timeshare. Your timeshare agreement likely contains a clause detailing how to officially exit the agreement. This will likely involve paying a substantial fee.
- Sell the timeshare. Your timeshare agreement may allow for you to sell the timeshare so that someone else can take over your payments without the agreement termination fee. You may need to hire an appraiser to determine your timeshare’s value. Unfortunately, a timeshare may often be worth much as a resale and could even go for just $1 to get out of paying maintenance fees. Here’s an example of a timeshare resale website with listings starting at $1.
- One spouse keeps the timeshare. This option is ideal when one spouse actually wants to keep the timeshare, but this isn’t always a goal in divorce. The long-term maintenance costs of the timeshare should be considered when using this option- it will be worth far less than a property owned outright.
- Depending on the terms of your timeshare agreement, you may be able to “rent out” your use periods for profit. Just like valuing the timeshare, estimating the chances of successfully renting out your timeshare can be a task for the appraiser.
- “Gift” it off. Your timeshare may be burdensome and not worth trying to salvage in a divorce. If you have a family member who wants it, it could simplify property division to give it away and pass on the maintenance fees. The family member may even allow you to continue occasionally using the property! However, this arrangement needs to be agreed upon by both spouses, or it could be viewed as marital waste and used against the spouse who gifted it away during property division.
- Switch off years. If you divorce, you and your spouse might be able to work out an agreement in which you switch off use of the timeshare periods. This will require a level of amicability between the spouses that may not be present in many divorce cases.
Don’t Let Your Timeshare Be The Issue That Takes Your Divorce To Trial
Many people assume that divorce always involves a trial, but the spouses always have the option to come to an agreement out of court to avoid going before a judge. Reaching a settlement can save the spouses thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and invaluable time and stress versus going to trial. Additionally, it lets the spouses maintain more control over their divorce’s outcome. Otherwise, the judge could have the final say on issues including property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody.
With the resale value of many timeshares, it’s unlikely that yours is a major asset in your marital estate. Going to trial solely because two divorcing spouses can’t agree on what to do with a timeshare would be wasteful of everyone’s time. If you and your spouse can’t come on an agreement on how to divide a timeshare, be sure to weigh the costs of pursuing the issue further with the value of the timeshare itself- you can even browse the link provided above for a replacement timeshare if you lose yours in the divorce.
If your timeshare truly is the roadblock preventing you and your spouse from coming to a property division agreement, you should consider mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party who will help parties in disagreement reach a resolution. A mediator does not have final say on any issues on which the spouses are unable to reach an agreement. Mediation is confidential, and the mediator has a duty not to gossip about your session whether or not you settle your divorce with them. Sometimes, a mediator may find a creative solution to an issue that the spouses weren’t able to think of on their own. If you and your spouse have reached an impasse in property division negotiations, consider this option either with or without your divorce attorney’s assistance. Mediation is not appropriate in abusive relationship situations.
Affordable Arizona Family Lawyers That Deliver Results
Many clients come to us with unreasonable expectations about what will happen in divorce. Sometimes expectations need to be tempered when someone doesn’t fully understand community property, but you also may be surprised at how large your fair share of the marital estate can be. This is just one of the ways that a knowledgeable divorce attorney can make the process smoother. Quality representation doesn’t have to break the bank, either. At AZ Family Law Lawyers, we offer affordable down payments and monthly payment plan options in addition to our high-quality services. Get the process started with no risk or obligation- schedule your free phone consultation by calling 480-470-1504.
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