Many rural Colorado residents’ lives are deeply intertwined in their farms, especially given that they are generally both a source of income and a family’s home. In many cases the farm was inherited from former generations and has deep ancestral roots. Therefore, ensuring that this important property is protected during a high-asset divorce is essential.
A recent article highlighted the dangers of failing to safeguard your farm, and proposed hypothetical situations that can be used to showcase how asset division doesn’t have to uproot the homestead. They also highlighted the fact that a farm, which is often part of a family business, might still be legally transferred over to a spouse even if the property is considered part of the business assets.
While it is easy to feel idealistic prior to marriage, the reality is that not every marriage works. Using a pre-nuptial agreement is a smart way to maintain clear guidelines regarding how assets will be divided following a divorce. By including the farm in the agreement, your family heritage and future income can be protected.
Post-nuptial agreements are a smart option for those who are already married and failed to create a pre-nuptial arrangement, or who received large assets during their marriage. A proposed scenario highlighted a woman who was to inherit a farm from an elderly family member who wanted to make sure that the land never left the family. In cases like these a post-nuptial agreement is prudent.
Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are precisely worded documents that should be drafted by a family law attorney to ensure better defenses should a divorce occur. Those unsure about whether or not they need to protect their assets should take their concerns to a lawyer.
Source: Farmers Guardian, “Helping to guard your farm assets against divorce,” Joel Durkin, Dec. 26, 2013