Tide is turning in favour of €1,500 'pre-nup' deals
It is clear that farmers of both sexes and all ages are now in favour of pre-nuptial agreements being recognised.
The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association and the Irish Farmers' Association have called for 'pre-nups' to be legally binding and recognised by the Irish courts - although the Catholic Church remain in opposition, maintaining the view that marriage is for life.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has begun investigating the potential impact of introducing laws recognising pre-nups. It would seem that the tide is turning.
With divorce rates increasing, a study carried out by Macra na Feirme on 'Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland' identified that keeping the family farm within the family is a concern for those handing on the farm to the next generation.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple before they get married. They make provision for financial and property matters in the event of the breakdown of the marriage. They can include issues such as lump sum payments, pensions, maintenance and custody for children.
A pre-nuptial agreement can give both parties peace of mind and can reduce conflict later. The difficulty is that Irish courts are not bound to enforce them.
However, legal opinion sees no reason why courts should not take pre-nuptial agreements into account when making provision for spouses and children.
It is essential to note if you are considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement that both parties receive independent legal advice.