Farm families may do a lot of estate planning, but rarely is there consideration of how damaging a divorce can be – until it happens. To address some of these unique challenges, the National Agricultural Law Center has published a fact sheet series discussing family law in agriculture.
The fact sheet series was authored by Cari Rincker, a principal attorney at Rincker Law, PLLC, a nationally recognized practice focusing on food, farm and family law. Rincker is a trained mediator and adjunct professor at Vermont Law School and the University of Illinois School of Law. The fact sheets discuss legal issues for families going through divorce and separation including child support, spousal maintenance, equitable distribution, and community property. The series also covers nuptial agreements, estate planning concerns and tools for alternative dispute resolution.
“Family law touches upon every socio-economic group and walk of life, including those involved in food and agriculture and multi-generational farm families,” Rincker said. “Every farm and ranch divorce is as diverse as each family itself but it can include complex legal issues that are unique to farmers and ranchers.”
These fact sheets not only discuss legal issues for families going through these transitions (e.g., child support, spousal maintenance, equitable distribution/ community property, animal issues) but also include nuptial agreements and estate planning concerns. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) choices, including mediation are included in the links below. Because family law is highly state-specific, these fact sheets address general issues.
Readers are cautioned to speak to an attorney licensed in their jurisdiction.