Dividing matrimonial assets is often complicated; especially when farming property and other assets are involved. Susan J Williams, Partner and family law specialist at Ince, outlines some of the points to consider when a farming family are looking to part ways.
Reviewing existing agreements
In our initial conversations, our team will look for any formal and informal agreements relating to the farm that are already in place. Often, farming businesses have been in the family for a number of generations and may have family trusts, multiple family partnerships and businesses operating within the farming structure – and a variety of family members that receive financial support from the farm.
A farming business has unique features that require careful consideration. Often, the farm will provide accommodation for various family members, pay the family’s bills, provide a modest income and any motor vehicles and other useful equipment.
Consider any farming subsidies and tax implications
Other complexities to consider are the farm’s reliance on any government subsidies and the impact of the loss of any EU funding that the farm may have previously been eligible to receive.
Drawing up pre and post nuptial agreements during marriage
If you’re considering entering a marriage and have a farming business, or you have recently married – pre and post nuptial agreements can protect the structure of the farming business – both during your marriage and in case your relationship breaks down.
These agreements can set out arrangements for the farm business and assets in the event of a future relationship breakdown and divorce. They also often provide comfort to other family members, who have seen the farm historically passing down through the generations, and wish to preserve the farm for the next generation.
Seeking specialist advice for complex agriculture issues
Our team can also advise on the difficulty in liquidising assets and what to do when some of the land may be rented, which is particularly common with livestock farms.
From experience, unraveling the tax implications requires specialist knowledge and we can work with our tax team to see how income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and corporation tax may all feature in settlement deliberations.
We also work in collaboration with other agricultural business experts, land valuers and accountants.
How we can help
Financial settlements involving farming assets is a specialist area, which requires sensitive, expert handling. Our firm has acted for farming families across south and west Wales – as well as further afield.
Our agriculture team can support you through any issues you or your farm may be facing, providing advice fully tailored to your farming family’s needs.
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