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Farms and Divorce – Knutsford Specialists

Knutsford farming divorce

Upon arriving at Maguire Family Law’s Knutsford office today there were some tourists taking photos and admiring the building. It made me realise what a fantastic location we have here in Knutsford. Like a lot of things, it is easy to take your surroundings for granted.

The offices of Maguire Family Law in Knutsford are located at Marble Arch, a historic building on King Street in the town centre, near Tatton Park.

Marble Arch is a grade 2 listed building and the arch itself is part of the original larger building which is understood to have been constructed more than 300 years ago in 1700. As the blue plaque explains, it was first known as the Mermaid Inn and later became The Angel. The original use of the property was for a coaching house, and it remained as such until 1732.

Knutsford has an interesting history. It is the birthplace of the renowned 19th-century author, Elizabeth Gaskell who grew up with her Aunt Hannah in Knutsford close to Tatton Park. The vibrant atmosphere of the market town of Knutsford came through clearly in Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels, particularly ‘Cranford’ published in 1853. There are numerous landmarks around the town that serve as a reminder of Elizabeth Gaskell not least Gaskell Avenue, a road named after her.

Knutsford was a very important town going back through the centuries. People would travel quite long distances to attend the racecourse until the late 19th century and the local court was in operation from 1575 to 2010.

The annual Knutsford Royal May Day celebrations serve as yet another reminder of the history and traditions that continue to this day. The May Day has been an annual event in Knutsford since 1864.

At Maguire Family Law we act for all kinds of clients dealing with a wide range of family law issues. As specialists in dealing with financial settlements on relationship breakdown we see the complete range of cases from modest value to very complex cases involving business assets.

Cheshire is a county with a rich tradition of farming and agriculture has traditionally been the main industry with an emphasis on dairy production. Cheshire is famous for its cheese after all.

When a farming marriage breaks down, consideration as to how the assets should be divided can become complicated primarily due to how farming businesses are usually structured.

Often the assets are very valuable and include large parcels of land as well as expensive plant and machinery. However, farming cases often become complex due to the ownership structure. They are usually owned by multiple members of the family often including the parents of the divorcing spouse. There can be trust structures in place.

Therefore, it can be challenging for a spouse who has married into a farming family to receive his or her fair share of the assets. Farming businesses can sometimes be seen as a ‘dynasty’ and may have been passed down through the family for generations.

There might also be issues of liquidity i.e. how does the spouse exiting the marriage (and the farming business) receive his or her divorce settlement.

All these issues need to be balanced against the entitlement of the exiting spouse to his or her fair settlement, especially after a long marriage where they are likely to have made a significant contribution to the marriage and the family.

There is usually a whole host of factors and considerations to be taken into account when dealing with a divorce or separation where there is a farming business involved, and specialist family law should be sought.

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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