Brazil & Benske, LLC

Collaborative divorce and your Door County vacation home

With miles of shoreline, beautiful forests and delicious restaurants, Door County is a vacationer’s dream. If you cannot resist the peninsula’s draw, you may own a vacation home in the area. Still, if your getaway is marital property, you must address its ownership during your divorce proceedings. 

Mediation often provides an optimal setting for negotiating vacation house ownership with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. That is, through a collaborative process, you and your partner may have access to options that an adversarial proceeding often precludes. Here are some ways you may want to handle your Door County vacation home: 

Sell the property 

If you purchased your vacation home during your marriage, there is a good chance that it is a marital asset. As such, you likely must equitably distribute its value as part of your divorce. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to sell the property and split the proceeds. If you go this route, you must find a buyer willing to purchase the home for a price that appeals to you and your partner. 

Buy the property 

Because your getaway house is likely marital property, both you and your spouse have an ownership interest in it. When negotiating the end of your marriage through a collaborative divorce, you may be able to give up certain marital assets in exchange for exclusive ownership of your vacation home. Alternatively, you may be able to come up with enough cash to buy out your spouse’s interest. Either way, if you have a mortgage, you probably want to refinance to remove your partner’s name from loan documents. 

Share the property 

If you and your partner have committed to a collaborative divorce, you may be on good terms. Continuing your cooperative nature may make sense when handling your vacation home. That is, you may be able to share usage of the property. To do so, negotiate a visitation schedule and come up with a plan for dealing with upkeep costs. 

Rent the property 

Neither you nor your spouse may want to visit the vacation home, but you also may not be ready to give up ownership. If that is the case, you may want to consider renting the property and sharing both profits and expenses. This may be a wise strategy, as Door County is a popular destination for visitors from the Midwest and other places. 

Collaborative divorce helps divorcing spouses think outside the box when dealing with marital assets and other important matters. If you have a vacation home in Door County or anywhere else, you may want to use your cooperative approach to help you reach an acceptable solution for your getaway. 

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