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Who gets the Farm on Divorce?

A husband and wife in the same house but not sleeping together for many (approx. 8) years. Kids in late teens. If officially separated or divorced what would happen with the house on farmland, and farm buildings? All totally divided in two or would he

This largely depends on what sort of input the wife had into the farm over the years and I presume that the husband and wife have been married for over twenty years now, and during that time the wife would have put as much work into the running of the farm as the husband.  I think we are probably looking at close to a 50/50 split although with farms it is clear that the assets are part and parcel of the farmer’s employment and for the whole place to be sold would mean that he would lose his/her job as a self-employed farmer. And of course each asset doesn't have to be split down the middle. If the farmer were to remortgage the farm and pay that amount to the spouse as part of an agreement that would also satisfy family law.

This is clearly a case where alternative dispute resolution such as mediation will benefit. Ultimately a court, in deciding a case such as this, will always try to strike a balance between the entitlements of both the husband and wife but the most important consideration, even in their late teens, will still be the children and possible third level education. Having said that I suggest that a court room is the last place this should end up and mediation is a very real option which can explore other ways of you and your spouse both getting what you need for the future.

My advice is to see a specialist family lawyer who has experience in handling divorce family assets – your average family Solicitor who deals with every aspect of the law in a general way may not be suitable in this case.  You will need a legal advisor who deals with nothing but family law to get the experienced advice you need. 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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