University of Limerick
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Splitting heirs - divorce planning and pre-nuptial agreements for family businesses in Ireland

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journal contribution
posted on 2009-03-09, 11:10 authored by Naomi Birdthistle
Objectives: The main aim of this paper is to examine what can be done to plan for divorce should divorce arise for members of a family business in Ireland. A number of objectives have been formulated; firstly the research will examine the issue of di-vorce and what the law states pertaining to it. Next what support there is for family businesses when it comes to divorce and what preparations could be made should di-vorce occur will be identified. Prenuptial agreements will be examined and the views and opinions of owner/managers of family businesses will also be examined. Prior work: Little to no research has been conducted in Ireland to examine the views and opinions of family owned businesses and the implications divorce may have on the business. Since divorce is still a fairly new concept in Ireland this will be a semi-nal piece of research. Approach: Primary data from a stratified random sample of independent unquoted businesses was collected. The study relied upon a single key informant per family business for obtaining self-reported data. Results: The interim results indicate that divorce has not been planned for by family businesses in Ireland. There are mixed feelings as to prenuptial agreements. Some re-spondents have indicated that prenuptial agreements are just for 'rich' people and aren't necessary in Ireland. Others want the law to be changed so as to enable prenup-tial agreements to be legal. Implications: This research is of value to the owner/managers of family businesses as it gives an indication as to what should be included in a prenuptial agreement. Fur-thermore, since the Irish government has established an executive committee to exam-ine prenuptial agreements the results of this research will be invaluable to them. Value: Little to no research has been conducted in Ireland pertaining to the impact of divorce on family businesses. Therefore, the importance of this research is that it fills a gap in the literature.



Electronic Journal of Family Business Studies;Vol. 2/ Issue 3/ pp. 97-117


University of Jyvaskyla Finland





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