Divorce is not a nice event for any party when the hard earned assets are being ripped apart and split by the divorcing parties. That pain is all too real when a timeshare is involved in the divorce settlement as (in reality) that timeshare is worthless and attracts a long term commitment to pay fees and maintenance payments. Coupled with the negative, the benefit of the timeshare holiday is blighted as the couples will be holidaying separately after the divorce.
To overcome the problem the TCA offers this advice.
Couples can either share the holidays on a bilateral agreement or if the resort permits it, one of the contracting parties can petition the resort to be excused from the contractual liability of the timeshare due to the divorce.
This could become a problem if the resort refuses to engage in the process which can stifle the liquidation of the marital assets.
Splitting the timeshare property (in a divorce) includes figuring out what to do with that timeshare, this raises questions like:
Can it be sold?
Who will keep it?
Who will pay the annual fees?
Who will use it?
This is a particular problem if neither party wants to keep it.
Because timeshares have been around since the 1970’s, there are literally hundreds of thousands of units in the stagnant for sale markets.
It can be very difficult to sell a timeshare since you are competing with new ones offered by developers every year and year on year.
If, as often happens, neither party wants to keep the timeshare after the divorce, you can contact the place you bought it and find out if they will buy it back.
If they agree, it will likely be at a significant discount off the original price.
You could also try to sell your timeshare through a broker or listing service however these have a poor track record in selling as only 1 out of every 400 to 600 actually sell.
But beware of upfront costs from re-sale agents with no guarantee of an eventual sale.
Walking away from the timeshare problem is usually not a viable option as the parties signed an initial contract in which they agreed to pay the fees and/or loan costs.
Failure to pay those fees could jeopardize your credit rating. An option of last resort (no pun intended) may also be to deed-back the timeshare to the developer – if they will accept it.
Because all of the above options are tenuous, parties to a divorce sometimes agree to keep the timeshare and use it in alternate years and alternate paying the annual costs. If there is an outstanding loan, the loan payments would also be shared. While this is not a perfect solution, at least both parties (and their children) will be able to use the timeshare until it can be sold.
If all fails and an exit is the best route for the parties then a reputable exit company can be employed so as to gain an exit from the contract this will cost between £750.00 and £1,500 (dependant on the company engaged). The exit route will require both parties to agree. If an agreement is in place then the process is quite simple in respect to the engagement (the TCA can assist you with that process free of charge). Once engaged, the exit company will challenge the resort and should keep you on full cover until the statute of limitations kicks in. This will allow both parties to achieve quite enjoyment of the rest of their lives knowing that the issue is being dealt with by a professional body representing the interests of both parties.
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Last modified: March 11, 2016