The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has reignited its lobbying campaign to have pre-nuptial agreements recognised in Irish law.
The move is part of a push by the farmers' lobby group to protect the family farm from being sold off or divided up in the event of a marriage breakdown.
"There has been recent contact between the IFA and Department of Justice officials on this issue," Morag Devins of the IFA said.
She said the IFA was lobbying Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice, urging him to ensure 'pre-nup' agreements were made legally binding here by introducing new legislation. At present, the legal status of 'pre-nups' is unclear as they appear to go against the Constitution.
The IFA wants farmers to be allowed to draw up contracts before he or she gets married to ensure family farms remained intact post a divorce. This would ensure that it would be clear how assets owned by both parties prior to getting married were ring-fenced in the event of a divorce.
The IFA said it had first lobbied for the changes in March 2011 but had recently begun its campaign again following the expression of concerns by members.
The IFA declined to comment further but referred to remarks made in earlier unsuccessful campaigns.
"IFA's interest in the issue of the legal status of pre-nuptial agreements arises primarily from our policy of seeking to ensure that the inter-generational transfer of family farms takes place in an orderly and timely fashion," it said.
Kathy Irwin, partner and head of family law with Beauchamps Solicitors, noted that: "Farmers were against divorce historically because of fears of in-laws getting any interest in the family farm. It is interesting that they want this change having been more conservative in the past."
Irwin said that 'pre-nups' were a "grey area" at the moment in Ireland. "You can make one but there is no guarantee it will do anything," she said.