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During this time of social distancing, the Law Office of Marla Zide, LLC is offering both phone and video conferencing options for meetings and consultations. You will be able to contact us via phone during regular business hours to schedule.

What happens to the vacation home in a divorce?

| Jul 1, 2021 | property division

When spouses purchase a vacation home, they mostly think of the memories they will make there with their family. It is a personal investment as well as a significant financial investment.

That is why when spouses face a divorce, they also face the challenge of what to do with valuable assets like this. Real estate properties are subject to equitable distribution if they are marital property, but how exactly will spouses handle vacation homes in a divorce?

How do spouses divide the vacation home?

Generally, the most common ways that spouses address the vacation home in the property division process include:

  • Selling the property and dividing the profits equitably
  • One spouse keeping the property and buying out the other spouse

In some cases, spouses might continue to own the vacation property together. Instead of dividing the property itself, they divide the time spent at the property and the financial responsibilities. This arrangement is less common. However, if spouses agree or are willing to negotiate, then any of these options could be a possibility.

Who keeps the vacation home in a dispute?

On the other hand, if spouses cannot agree, then the Maryland family court or the judge will determine what happens to the vacation home. The family court will consider the same factors as they do when dividing any other marital asset, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
  • The contributions each spouse made to the property’s value

This last factor will play a significant role when it comes to the vacation home. For example, if one spouse contributed more finances, time and effort into updating or maintaining the property, they are more likely to keep the vacation home.

Divorcing spouses must approach property division with a mindful strategy. It is critical for individuals to evaluate their financial goals, decide what they want and how much they are willing to negotiate in the property division process.