Prenups are needed to “protect” farmers from losing their business in the event they divorce, a young farmer has said.
According to an Irish Farmers Journal poll, 41% of farmers said they would advise a friend to sign a prenuptial agreement before they wed.
For Louise, the consequence for a marriage ending for the family farm is something she has firsthand experience of.
“Our family farm was put at risk during my parents’ divorce,” she told Lunchtime Live.
“Dad is a farmer, it’s Dad’s business but we had to go through that for several years.”
Louise said the issue is all “sorted out now” but she is emphatic that if she ever got married and divorced, she would never want her ex to be given a part of her farm.
“I would look at it that if I got married, I would want my farm, my business, my livelihood to stay with me and not be at risk of being split up,” she said.
Given farmers are only able to work on land they own, or in some cases rent, Louise feels the law needs to recognise the uniqueness of the profession.
“I think a prenup would protect both parties,” she said.
“So, whoever is farming, it would protect [the farm]; that is their business, they can’t walk away from it and go farm somewhere else.”
Not legal in Ireland
Although they are popular in America, the law in Ireland does not recognise premarital agreements.
Some people still sign agreements - even if they have not legal standing.
“Quite a number of people - particularly when they’re on a second marriage - will want to do a prenup agreement but they’re not necessarily enforceable,” solicitor Keith Walsh said.
“That may change in the future.”
Divorce in Ireland was legalised in 1995, following a referendum in which 50.3% voted in favour of change.
Main image: A farmer in Kerry. Picture by: Alamy.com