Make a pre-nup part of farm partnership agreement

Putting a requirement for a pre-nuptial agreement into a partnership contract can be a useful way to raise the subject before marriage, suggests accountant Dyke Yaxley.

Pre-nuptial agreements are increasingly used by farming families to protect their assets and businesses, setting out how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce.

However, the delicate nature of the subject can make it a difficult one to broach, particularly if it has not been done well in advance of the wedding. 

Pre-nups must be entered into willingly, with full information disclosed about the financial circumstances of each spouse, otherwise the agreement may be voided.

See also: How to make a pre-nuptial agreement smooth and secure

While their terms are not automatically enforced by the courts in the event of a marriage breakdown, over the last few years courts have shown a greater willingness to take note of these arrangements.

Mark Griffiths, director of Dyke Yaxley, said that the rise in property and land values was making the use of pre-nuptial agreements more common and they could be considered an add-on to a partnership agreement.

However, it came down to having a very good partnership agreement in the first place – land could be and was very commonly held outside the partnership, he pointed out.