David A. Domina co-authored this article with John S. Slowiaczek, a matrimonial
lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska. The article addresses how divorce affects a
family farm. Like other things, a farm is an asset that is subject to
distribution in the event of a divorce. But farms are more than just an
asset. They are a way of life. In this article, the authors suggest that
current equitable distribution laws favor the farmer over the farmer's spouse.
It is not uncommon for farms in Nebraska to be inherited. Farms have been
a way of life for generations, and many of the farms have only changed
hands from kin to kin. In Nebraska, the non-owner spouse (male or female)
is not allowed to have any direct ownership interest in the farm.
The current laws were written with the best interests of the farm in mind,
but unless a spouse can prove that their work on the farm directly improve
the market value of that farm, it will be difficult for that spouse to
be compensated for their efforts in the event of divorce. If you would
like to read the complete text of this article, view
The Equitable Distribution of Farms.