Farmers turning to pre-nups to protect family legacy

By Lenore Rice

There has been an increase in enquiries about prenuptial agreements from farm owners since the status of the pre-marriage contracts gained more strength in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Farming families will usually consider the farm to be a legacy that will be passed down through generations, but those plans are often put at risk when their is a divorce, and assets are being considered to be divided up in the divorce settlement. Farming land, livestock and equipment are considerable assets, and when reaching a fair divorce settlement, a family law court may decide that the assets should be split, sold in part, or otherwise dealt with in order to give effect to the divorce settlement.

Pre-nuptial agreements are receiving more recognition in the UK courts, and many farm owners are now looking to the contracts to protect their farm in the event of a divorce. In a pre-nuptial agreement the couple can agree that the farm will not be broken up or sold in the event of a separation, and the courts would have to consider that document when reaching a divorce settlement.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.