When couples are actively involved in a country club, a frequent question that arises is who gets the country club membership if they divorce. The answer depends on the club’s rules. Importantly, the membership also raises financial issues that should be negotiated in the settlement agreement by your divorce attorney. There are a few of the things you should know about country club membership. If you are considering a divorce consult with a divorce mediation attorney in Greenwich.
Can You Remain a Member of Your Country Club After Divorce?
Most country club agreements have one person as the primary member even if it’s a “family membership.” The spouse and children attend as part of the member’s family. Upon divorce, the primary member keeps the membership, while the other spouse would have to get his or her own membership if permitted.
The club may allow the nonmember spouse to join under his or her name with several caveats. The spouse will probably have to pay a new initiation fee and may be subject to any wait lists that exist to join the club. Further, the spouse may have to go through an approval process. In this situation, the divorce settlement agreement can include a provision that the member spouse won’t disparage the nonmember spouse or oppose his or her membership in the club.
Can You Make Your Spouse Pay For Your Membership?
If you want to be a member, then your divorce settlement negotiations should address the expense of joining. Typically, this issue is raised when children are actively involved in the club and the nonmember spouse wants to be able to continue to attend in order to be with them. Your divorce lawyer can argue that the initiation fee is a valid expense that should be covered by spousal support.
Who Gets the Bond Posted for the Country Club Membership in Divorce?
Some country clubs require members to post a bond that is returned when the membership ends. Those funds are considered an asset of the member spouse in divorce because he or she can get the money back. Therefore, the nonmember spouse should receive other assets of equivalent value when the marital property is divided.
Is It Worth Fighting Over Country Club Membership?
This is a personal issue. Many individuals do not want to be in the same club as their former spouse. However, if it is important to you to remain with your club, then you should inform your attorney so he or she can include appropriate provisions in your divorce settlement agreement.
Our attorneys frequently represent high-net-worth clients in divorce and understand the assets and issues that are important to them. If you are considering divorce, contact us to learn how we can help you achieve a positive result in your matter.