When you and your spouse are discussing who keeps which property in a divorce, you may not consider your golf club membership. However, your membership is an asset with value that you and your spouse need to discuss. So, who keeps the golf club membership in a divorce in Massachusetts?
Is a Golf Club Membership a Marital Asset in Massachusetts?
A golf club membership is a marital asset. You and your spouse joined the club together and, for all intents and purposes, paid the initiation fee and monthly membership fees together. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court will divide marital property according to what it believes is fair for each spouse.
What does this mean for dividing a club membership? Essentially, if the wife golfs every week, but the husband only visits once a month, the court may award the wife the membership and the husband a greater share of other marital assets to make up the difference according to what it considers fair.
The membership is also an intangible asset, meaning that unlike real estate or a vehicle, the court can’t order a couple to sell the asset and divide the profits.
What Are the Terms of Your Golf Club Membership?
Your contract with the club may also affect how you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse use the club during and after the divorce. For example, your membership agreement might include a clause for who keeps the golf club membership in a divorce. Common membership divorce clauses include:
- The primary member spouse retaining the membership
- The non-primary spouse not being allowed to join the club under his or her own membership
- The non-primary spouse being allowed to join the club with permission from the primary member and membership committee approval
You and your spouse may need to draft additional agreement terms for when you may bring new romantic partners to the club as guests and how to divide expenses when bringing your children to the club.
How Do You Measure the Value of a Golf Club Membership?
Your divorce attorney can help you evaluate your contribution to your golf club membership if you and your spouse must divide your golf club membership in your divorce. The value of your membership often includes your initiation fee, monthly fees, and an associated bond.
The court will assess the value of your membership at the time of your divorce against the current market value for the asset, meaning the value could be more than your actual contribution. Your divorce attorney can help you figure out the correct value to write into your divorce or separation agreement.
Contact Koiles Pratt Family Law Group for Divorce in Massachusetts
Who keeps the golf club membership in a divorce? That depends first on your contract with the club. The court may assign the membership to one spouse as part of equitable division if the contract doesn’t restrict it.
If you’re thinking about divorce from your spouse, contact us at Koiles Pratt Family Law Group. Call 978-744-7774 or contact us online to schedule a consultation in Salem, MA.