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How Do Divorce Attorneys Handle Vacation Homes? May 6, 2019

Central Whidbey Island, Island
How Do Divorce Attorneys Handle Vacation Homes?, Central Whidbey Island, Washington

Deciding to divorce your spouse can be a complex and long-awaited turning point, but when everything is on the table, you’ll have to make some serious decisions about what to do with your assets. While your main home and vehicle may be the first topics of discussion with your divorce attorneys, what about outlying investments, such as vacation homes? If you’re preparing for a divorce and want some more insight into this aspect of the settlement, consider the following guide.

How Vacation Homes Are Handled in a Divorce

Why Is It Important?

In some cases, deciding on the future of a vacation home can be contentious simply because the property has sentimental value. If the mountain cabin or beachfront cottage was used when the marriage was healthy, each spouse may have fond memories of spending time there, either together or with their children. Since spending time together isn’t an option anymore, it can be hard for one spouse to concede the property to the other.

On the other hand, some couples have used their vacation home as a source of supplemental income, renting it out when they weren’t using it. This may lead to disagreements based on who gets to keep the house and continue to make money off its tenants.

What Options Do You Have?

divorce attorneyYour divorce attorney will explain that, in all places of the world affected by the divorce decree, community property is meant to be divided. You could choose to share the vacation home, allotting a certain number of weeks or months to one spouse, and the rest to the other. If you’d prefer to keep renting out the property, you might be forced to split the earnings you receive from tenants. You could also sell the property; in this case, the court will hire an independent real estate appraiser and broker, and you and your spouse will share the fees required to sell the property.

What Should You Know About Washington’s Law?

Washington state follows the standard law that all property acquired during the marriage should be divided upon divorce. However, if one of the spouses acquired the vacation home before the marriage, or if they received the property as an inheritance or gift, they might be entitled to keep it as their own. The courts in Washington will also consider the financial situation of both you and your spouse and adjust their decision if one is much wealthier than the other.


If you’re looking for a divorce attorney to help you sort out all the fine print, get in touch with McPherson & McPherson Attorneys at Law of Coupeville, WA. Molly McPherson has years of experience in family law, and she will work hard to ensure you understand all your options before moving forward. In addition to divorce, she also deals with child custody, estate planning, and probate cases. For more information on her work, visit the website or call (360) 678-4407 today.

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