Income and Assets From Agriculture

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement that a couple signs before their wedding that outlines how they wish their assets to be divided in the event of divorce or separation. It can also cover the expected use of matrimonial finances during the marriage.

If you are entering a marriage where part, or all family income and assets, stem from agriculture, it may be worth considering a pre-nuptial agreement. The existence of a farm, farmland and agricultural businesses often raise a series of complex issues on divorce.

Granting the Terms Set in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

The mere existence of a pre-nuptial agreement does not automatically mean a Judge will grant an order mirroring the terms set out in the agreement. The court has an overriding objective to consider legislation, primarily the Section 25 factors set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, and ultimately, sets out to achieve what would be fair to both parties in any given set of circumstances.

In order to have the greatest chance of being relied on, a pre-nuptial agreement must have been prepared with full financial disclosure having taken place between the parties and each party obtaining independent legal advice on the document that has been prepared. The document should be prepared and signed at least 4-6 weeks before the wedding to minimise the suggestion that either party entered into the agreement under duress.

Sale and Distribution of a Farm

The court may attempt to avoid the sale and distribution of a farm where there is a historical familial link. A pre-nuptial agreement might cover an alternative distribution of other assets that could result in a suitable settlement whilst maintaining the integrity of land that has been passed down through generations.

As the farming industry is often asset rich, it would be wise to enlist experts to value the land and any other farming assets to ensure that all parties have the opportunity to receive specialist advice on the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement and its subsequent implications. The farming business itself will need to be valued like any other business to assess how feasible it may be to obtain a cash settlement in the event of separation.

We're Here to Help

If you would like further information on how we can help or if you have any more questions on Pre-Nuptial Agreements, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family team on 0161 941 4000 or email the Myerson Family Law Team.