Prepaid country club memberships are generally considered a marital asset in divorce. So who gets the country club membership in the divorce? While it may be difficult to divide intangible items such as these, country club memberships can be subject to equitable distribution. You will need to determine how you and your spouse want to handle the membership, and then check you club’s policies to determine how memberships are handled after a divorce.
Dealing with the Country Club Membership
Country club memberships cost more than $500/month on average. Lots of couples prepay a year or six months in advance, so during a divorce, this can be a significant asset. Plus, the privilege of using the country club may be very important for both parties.
The first thing you’ll need to do if a country club membership is involved in your divorce is contact the club’s office or reread your policy agreement and get details about membership privileges for divorcing couples. Most country clubs will honor the couple’s divorce order or separation agreement and grant the membership accordingly. You and your spouse will need to negotiate terms. For example, you may agree that he gets to keep the country club membership, and you get to keep the gym membership, and that each of you is responsible for current and future dues of said membership.
Also, some clubs provide spouses who were not awarded the membership with the option to join the club on their own after the divorce in finalized. They will often give you a break on the initiation fees, too, as long as you apply within a certain amount of time. Check with your club administrator.
What if You Aren’t Allowed to be a Member?
Most clubs have strict membership requirements and do not allow both spouses to retain privileges simultaneously after a divorce. If they don’t, the spouse listed as the primary member will usually be granted privileges. If you’re a secondary member on the policy and the club won’t revert the membership to you after the divorce because you were only a secondary member, you are still entitled to 50 percent of the estimated value of the membership. You and your ex-spouse will just have to be creative with coming up with distribution solutions.
For example, if the membership is valued at $6,000 and your ex keeps it, you will be entitled to $3,000. To recover, perhaps you can get an extra $3,000 of his or her 401(k) account, or keep the china collection with the same estimated value. You, your spouse and your attorneys can brainstorm resolutions that work for both parties.
Attorney Molly B. Kenny Can Assist with Your Washington Divorce
Divorce attorney Molly B. Kenny can help you with any aspect of your divorce, including asset division and joint club memberships. Call the office today at (425) 460-0550 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.