Farms play an important role in the lives of many Georgia families. Current data reveals that Georgia has 9.9 million acres devoted to farms, which equates to more than 42,000 individual farms. While it might seem challenging, some Georgia farmers who end up divorcing are ultimately able to keep their farms. Even though it might make more sense to divide the farm, some farmers discover that there are advantages to keeping a farm open. The following will review some important steps to take if you are interested in keeping your house intact during a divorce.
Communicate Role Clearly
Each divorcing spouse should delineate what his or her role with the farm will be going forward. If one spouse provided an off-farm income while the other spouse focused more on performing labor on the farm, the couple should determine whether this type of relationship will continue.
Determine How Decisions Will be Made
Hopefully, if you have decided to keep your farm intact, you do not argue with your former spouse often. Even if you only have disagreements over one or two things, it is still important to create a system for how decisions will be made on the farm. If these arrangements are made, there is a much greater likelihood that fights will erupt when the two former spouses eventually disagree about something.
One of the most important things that divorcing farm owners must remember to do is to inventory what assets are owned by the farm as well as what each spouse owns individually. In many cases, it is common for spouses to disagree about the nature of certain property. While one spouse might view a horse as belonging to the farm, the other spouse might view the animal as belonging to him or her individually. If you plan on running the family farm for years to come, now is the best time to create a document that determines who owns each asset.
Consider Changing the Farm’s Business Structures
During divorce, it is a wise idea to consider whether it would be advantageous to restructure the family farm. There are advantages (as well as disadvantages) associated with each type of business structures including close corporation, limited liability corporations, and general partnerships. What works best can change over time, and may very well be impacted by the assets that each spouse now owns and their role in keeping the farm intact. By discussing what business structure works for the family farm now, you can avoid uncertainties in the future about how the farm should be run. By decreasing any uncertainties about how things will proceed in the future, you can eliminate numerous problems that would otherwise appear down the road.
Speak with an Experienced Georgia Divorce Lawyer
Farm families divorce face many unique complications. If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to navigate this difficult time, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today.