Property division in a Michigan divorce is a complex process, especially if you and your spouse own more than one property. In addition to your marital residence, you might have a vacation home, cabin or other separate property that is jointly owned.
Michigan courts follow the equitable distribution method of property division. This means that property is divided in a way that is fair to both spouses.
You have a few options when it comes to resolving what happens to your vacation home.
One spouse keeps the home
The solution is simple if one of you wants the vacation home but the other doesn’t. The home can be awarded to the spouse who wants it.
However, this means that spouse now has another asset in their property division column. This means they may have to make an additional payment to you, or give you another asset, to keep the division fair.
Selling the home
If neither of you wants the vacation home, you can choose to sell it and agree to split the proceeds equally. Sometimes, your spouse may claim they did most of the maintenance and upkeep on the home or spent the most time there, and therefore they should receive the proceeds.
That is a potential option; however, you might still be entitled to an additional payment or asset to make up for it.
Splitting time at the home
The situation becomes more complex if both of you want the home. A potential resolution involves an agreement to split time you spend at the home.
For example, if it is a summer home, you can agree that one of you can go to the home during the first half of the summer and the other one during the second half.
You can also agree that both of you have access to the home but must provide written 48- hour notice and get each other’s approval before going.
High asset divorces require creative solutions. An experienced family law attorney can help you explore your options for handling vacation homes or other property.