Divorce and Your Timeshare
Divorce isn’t usually a happy occasion for anyone. When a marriage breaks apart there is emotional turmoil and a huge change to deal with, not to mention the difficult task of splitting all the assets. This can be made especially harder when there is a timeshare involved in the settlement as often neither party wants to take on the responsibility of paying the annual fees and maintenance payments. So, what can couples facing this dilemma do?
At Timeshare Advice Bureau, we would first suggest that couples try and share the holidays in a bilateral agreement so that they can both make use out of the resort. However, if this cannot be achieved, then they suggest that one party petition the resort to be excused from the contract due to the divorce. This could become difficult if the resort refuses to let one party excuse themselves, making the division of assets more complicated.
If you’re stuck trying to split the timeshare property, there are many different things to figure out. Who will keep it? Who will use it and at what time? Who will pay the annual fees? All of these questions will need to be considered, and, if through all this questioning you find that neither party wants to keep the timeshare, this then becomes a real problem.
Trying to sell a timeshare can be extremely difficult. Timeshares have been around for decades bringing in hundreds of thousands of owners since the 1970s meaning that markets are full of properties trying to be sold. This oversaturated market means when you try to sell you will be competing with old resorts as well as new ones and often there simply isn’t a buyer for your timeshare unit.
If you want to avoid the frustration and time it can take to try and sell (often seeing your efforts go to waste) and you want to stop paying your fees as soon as possible, then you can try contacting the timeshare company you bought the property from and see if they will repurchase it. If the company agrees, the price will most likely be a significant discount off the original price, but it’s still worthwhile as you won’t be paying annual fees for a property you don’t use.
When trying to resell your property be aware of the risks of broker or listing services. They have a poor track record in selling as only 1 in every 400 -600 properties actually sell. Some may even ask for upfront costs with no guarantee of a sale. As desperate as you are to move on from the divorce and the timeshare property, rushing into paying companies like this can leave you stuck with your timeshare and even less money. With the stress that comes with trying to get rid of your timeshare, you may often feel like just getting up and walking away from it. But this is not a viable option as your contract binds you into paying your annual fees. Failing to pay these costs can both lead you in debt with the resort and putting your credit rating at risk.
Because all of these options are often tiring and hard-work to pursue, most couples facing divorce tend to agree to keep the timeshare and use it in alternate years. This means each party pays the fees in their alternative years and agree to split any outstanding loans. While this may not be the solution either party wanted, it means that the resort still gets to be enjoyed by them and any children until the time comes when it can be sold.
If you can’t see yourself working well with the other party in regards to fees, then there are reputable exit companies that can be employed to help you exit the contract. If both parties agree to work with together, then the exit company will challenge the resort and keep you on full cover until the statute of limitations kicks in. This means that both parties are allowed quiet enjoyment for the remainder of their lives, knowing that the issue is being dealt with.