Family Business & Farms

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Separations involving businesses are particularly complex. There are many special rules that apply to business division and income calculation. In most cases, our primarily goal is to ensure that the business can continue to operate unimpeded by the separation so that it can continue to benefit your family, while continuing to properly account for property division and support.

BARR LLP is home to Edmonton’s only practice group of lawyers who focus on divorces and separations involving businesses, farms, rental properties, and self-employment. Members of our family business divorce practice group have chaired seminars and taught other lawyers at dozens of seminars about business and tax issues in Family Law and have taught law students the law of business and tax issues in Family Law at University of Alberta Faculty of Law courses. The teacher of the University’s Advanced Family Law course leads our family business divorce practice group and shares knowledge with our team, including through in-house training not available to other law firms. We have an array of family law lawyers at varying levels of experience and rates to serve a variety of clientele.

BARR LLP has one of Edmonton’s largest offerings of Family Law lawyers and also has a strong corporate law department as well as Real Estate and Estate lawyers. Our departments are able to collaborate so that we can serve our family business clients with our broad wealth of experience.


We understand that farming is a very distinct lifestyle. We understand the seasonal demands, unique income tax calculations, the desire to leave the farm to your children, and high financing demands to be able to afford equipment.

Some of our family law lawyers previously worked at an agricultural law firm and lived on a farm. We can help you try to find ways to divide your property while leaving the farming operation viable, and to be able to properly calculate farming income.

Tax Issues

When there are businesses, farms, rental properties, or self-employment, there are also often tax issues which need to be addressed. For example, if land which is not your principal residence and not a qualified farming or fishing property is sold, such as a rental property or cabin, there may be capital gains taxes payable. Similarly, when assets are pulled out of a business, or businesses are sold or liquidated, there may be significant tax consequences. Family property division legislation requires a consideration of tax consequences. Our family business divorce practice group can help to address these issues, to ensure that proper credit is given.

Family Law Arbitration

BARR LLP is home to top family law arbitrators. Our Family Law Arbitration page explains arbitration, which is a process where spouses sign a contract agreeing that an independent person will make a decision, similar to a judge. Hiring our arbitrators to decide your dispute will likely resolve it much faster than through the courts, at less cost, and with less stress.

The benefits of family law arbitration are even greater where there is a business or farm involved. Some judges may not be familiar with how family law rules are affected when there is a business, farm, or self-employment involved. Even family law lawyers often struggle with business and tax issues. Hiring a family law arbitrator from our family business divorce practice group means knowing that the dispute will be decided by someone who understands businesses, farms, and self-employment.