Farming, family and divorce

Dealing with a divorce is stressful enough, but when farmers divorce there are usually additional considerations. It is not uncommon for both spouses to work on the farm, for their matrimonial home to be on the farm, for wider family members to work or live on the farm, and for long working hours to be necessary, particularly at harvest time.

The family court always has to deal with distributing assets, but this is often more complex with a family farm. The court will take into account inherited and generational wealth, with arguments being made about “non-matrimonial property”. The interests of wider family members may also need to be considered. The court looks to achieve fairness, through meeting needs, with first consideration given to the welfare of children.

A formal valuation of the farming business and assets may be needed, looking at issues such as liquidity, to see if any monies can be raised to buy out the other spouse. If not, the court may have to consider an order for sale of part of the farm, or consider whether one spouse and any children should have continued use, while the children grow up, of a property used as the family home within the marriage.

Given such complex and sensitive issues, it is important that your legal advice team has expertise in farming divorces. At Moore Blatch our family team works alongside members of our rural, property and company teams to ensure you receive the expert advice you need.

If you would like to discuss a farming divorce, please contact Debra Emery, Partner in charge of our family law team, on 02380 718057 or email


View our ‘Farming divorces’ factsheet.