Farming these days is big business. It involves big expensive machines, lots of pricy farmland, and sometimes big profits. Can you afford to give half of it away to your former spouse?
Under the Saskatchewan Family Property Act, farmers get to keep the property they had when married, but not the property’s increase in value during the course of the marriage. The home quarter also gets split 50/50 even if owned prior to marriage. In a typical long term farm marriage, most of the land was purchased after marriage, or increased greatly in value after marriage. Which means a farmer getting divorced is going to be severely hurt financially.
What’s the solution? If you are a farmer just getting married sign a pre-nuptial agreement BEFORE the marriage. It will be the best investment you ever made. If your proposed spouse refuses to sign, get a new spouse (by the way that’s relationship advice, not legal advice).
If you have been married for a long time? I have no solution. An interspousal agreement could be signed but your spouse won’t want to sign it and raising the issue could lead to divorce. Her lawyer will almost certainly tell her not to sign it and the lawyer almost certainly won’t sign it either. I wouldn’t (and haven’t).
If you are a long time farmer getting divorced from a long term spouse, bite the bullet, and try to get everything settled quickly. Fighting in Court is only expensive, stressful, time consuming, and emotionally draining. Neither party will be happy in the end.
Oh, and don’t buy a brand new Corvette. That never helps.
And if you are thinking farmer means a man, think again. Everything I am writing here applies to both women and men. Farm women often have lots of farmland in thier own name, or inherit it from their deceased or former husbands.
This is generally what occurs after a farm divorce, but every farm divorce is a little different so you should contact a lawyer to get advice for your specific situation.
David R. Barth