How do you divide a family farm when there is a step child involved?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I was married before with 1 child from that marriage and now my husband and I have 2 other children from our marriage, how do you divide a family farm between 1 daughter from previous marriage and son and daughter from my marriage of 26 years?

Expert Answers

How does a couple divide their property when they have children, and one spouse has a child from a prior marriage? The answer is that there is no one answer. The couple has to decide between themselves what they think is fair and reasonable. There is simply no rules for doing this.

I've become well aware of this reality from clients in my estate-planning law practice. Sometimes there is serious conflict between spouses about how their property should be distributed. Sometimes it is hard to divide up a couple's major asset"”such as a family farm"”so that each child receives a portion of that asset. At times when I've discussed this problem/issue with clients, I have functioned far more as a therapist than as a lawyer. Which means that at best I can facilitate the couple to reach an agreement about what they'll do. Still, it remains the couples decision, and no one else can make it for them.