A farm is not only a business but a home and vocation. Farming divorces therefore need to be approached skilfully.
Farms are often income poor but capital rich. This can prove challenging on separation with added complications relating to raising capital if ownership is shared with parents and siblings.
A fair solution which provides a home for both parties and any children without affecting the viability of the farm is important. Care and a creative approach is necessary, taking into account reasonable needs and liquidity.
An agreed settlement is always preferable and the collaborative law process is ideally suited. This is where the parties and their respective solicitors sign an Agreement committing to resolving the outstanding issues in meetings, rather than by correspondence or court. This increases the possibility of an amicable outcome and the flexible approach allows for the participation of valuers, accountants and farming consultants.
Entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before marrying can help to protect farming assets on a later divorce. Although not automatically binding on the courts, recent case law has shown that they will carry decisive weight if dealt with correctly.
Whether you are a farmer or a farmer’s spouse, it is important to have specialist advice and Jayne Turner has considerable experience of farming divorces and the complexities these can bring. She is a trained and experienced collaborative lawyer, a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Complex Financial Remedies and Pensions on Divorce and an Advanced Member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel.