Farmers may have especially complex divorce proceedings




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Close to 40 percent of all marriages in Canada end before death doeth part the spouses. While each divorce is unique, many divorces are similar in nature. Farmers, however, often have special circumstances due to the nature of their livelihoods. As such, a divorce in an Alberta farming family may require special skills to properly execute.

A farmer’s divorce is complicated in much the same way as a business owner’s might be. Many of his or her assets are intrinsically part of how the family’s living is earned. Dividing the assets can be extremely problematic. 

For example, many farmers inherit their farmland, making it exempt from property division in an Alberta divorce. However, all farming equipment acquired during the marriage are marital assets, and are subject to division. Additions to the farm acreage may also be marital assets. 

Furthermore, there is the difficult process of valuating the assets. Many farming assets are unique to farmers. The value of crops and livestock may not be immediately apparent or readily ascertained in the way that bank accounts, cars and home furnishings generally are. 

For many people, including farmers and their spouses, mediation may be the best way to approach a complex divorce. Rather than leave it to a judge to decide the value of a farm and its assets, a better solution may be to have both parties discuss their situation together in hopes of coming to a mutually agreeable valuation and division of the marital property. An Alberta lawyer can help any man or woman during his or her mediation, and ensure a satisfactory settlement is reached.

Source:, “How to survive the big split“, Shirley Byers, April 20, 2017


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