Unfortunately, divorce can be a very stressful and painful experience. Then there’s the additional stress of splitting the assets. If there is a timeshare involved, this ‘asset’ is effectively worthless, coupled with sharing the long-term commitment and maintenance. In addition, the benefit of the timeshare holiday is blighted as the couples will be holidaying separately after the divorce.
Parting couples can if they wish either share the holidays on a bi-lateral arrangement 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 prolong the liquidation of the marital assets.
Splitting the timeshare property, during the divorce includes figuring out what to do with that timeshare, this raises many questions such as, can it be sold? who will keep it? who will pay the annual fees? And more importantly who will use it? However, if neither party wants to keep it, even better.
Since timeshares have been around since the early 1970’s, there are literally hundreds of thousands of units in the stagnant ‘for sale’ market. Due to this fact, it can be extremely difficult to sell a timeshare since you are competing with new ones offered by developers every year and year on year.
Should neither party want to keep the timeshare after the divorce, there are several options to consider, the owners can contact the resort which they purchased it from to enquire if the resort would be interested in buying it back, if they agree, be prepared to be offered a ridiculously low offer in comparison to the original purchase price.
Selling a timeshare privately or through a broker is also another option, available are also listing services, however, these do have a poor proven track record in selling as only 1-400 to 1–600 actually sells. Should the owner wish to consider using a broker please do your research thoroughly and be vary of companies asking for upfront fees, these requests are usually from the companies that upon sending fees are never heard of again and all contact ceases.
During this difficult period some might just decide to walk away from the timeshare, we at ABC Lawyers would not recommend this due to the fact that both parties signed the initial contract, agreeing to pay the fees and/or loan costs. Failure to pay those fees could jeopardize your credit rating.
Since all of the above possibilities 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 need to 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 from the contract 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, dependent 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. 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.
If you wish to explore any of these options or would like any assistance, please do not hesitate contact ABC to discuss this further.
See our recent post regarding timeshare reservations and rights.