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4 questions to ask about your vacation home before your divorce

Vacation homes are a wonderful option for anyone who wants a reliable place to visit. If you purchase property in the right place, a getaway house may also be a smart financial investment. Still, like any marital asset, you must address ownership of the vacation property during divorce proceedings. 

According to the National Association of Home Builders, there are nearly 7.5 million second homes in the United States. If you own one, you are probably headed for a high-asset divorce. You also must negotiate what happens to your vacation home after your marriage ends. Here are four questions you should try to answer when coming up with a plan: 

1. How much is the property worth? 

When dealing with your vacation property, you likely have a few options. Whichever you choose, though, you must know how much your getaway is worth. Because valuing a vacation home can be challenging, working with a knowledgeable appraiser in the area likely makes sense.   

2. Do you want to continue owning the home? 

There may be a chance that either you or your spouse wants to continue to own the home after your marriage ends. If you do not mind giving up ownership, you may be able to use the property as a bargaining chip in your divorce. On the other hand, if you want to retain ownership, you may want to think about which assets you are willing to surrender. 

3. Is a sharing arrangement possible? 

Sometimes, divorced spouses get along sufficiently well to continue to jointly own property. With few other marital assets is this arrangement more common than with second homes. If you and your partner decide to go this route, though, you need to think about usage schedules, maintenance expenses and other relevant matters. 

4. What happens to the mortgage? 

After your divorce, you must focus on your own financial future. You probably do not want to continue to have a mortgage in both names. As such, you may need to refinance the property to remove either your name or your spouse’s, depending on retained ownership. 

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse jointly own a vacation home, you have some questions that you must consider when planning for a divorce. Still, with a bit of effort and some care, you can likely deal with ownership of your getaway proactively.

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