Texas is a community property state, so just about everything a couple acquires after their marriage begins is subject to a 50/50 split.
That’s easier said than done, however, when it comes to certain assets – like membership in a country club.
How do you value – or split – membership in a country club?
The first thing you need to look at is the cost to join the country club. The “initiation fee” could easily be $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 for some of the more posh locations.
It’s important to find out what the initiation fee is now, since you and your spouse may have joined the club when the cost was much lower, especially if you’ve had the membership for a while. That will give you a basic idea of how to value the asset.
Generally speaking, memberships at country clubs are exclusive, so you can’t merely transfer ownership or sell it (and your agreement with the club probably spells that out). You can, however, ask your spouse to:
- Pay you for your share of the membership, based on what it would cost you to join today.
- Pay your initiation fee to another, similar club as part of your divorce settlement.
- Trade you for some other asset (perhaps one equally difficult to divide, like your timeshare or the points from your airline travels) for the membership
In your divorce, it’s important to remember that intangible assets, like country club memberships, are still assets. If they have value, they should be part of the discussion when it comes time to divide the marital property in your divorce. Experienced legal guidance can help make sure that you aren’t leaving money on the table.