Financial Agreements can be entered into under the Family Law Act 1975:
1. Before a marriage or de facto relationship;
2. During a marriage or de facto relationship; or
3. After divorce or the breakdown of a de facto relationship.
Financial Agreements can deal with how property and financial resources are to be dealt with, spousal maintenance, matters incidental to or ancillary to the division of property/spousal maintenance as well as ‘other’ matters.
Financial Agreements in contemplation of a marriage or de facto relationship (commonly referred to as ‘pre-nups’) usually set out how the parties will divide their property if they separate at a later time. They are particularly useful in the following circumstances:
- Where couples have been married before and have significant assets and children from previous relationships. These couples may enter into a Financial Agreement to enable them to preserve their respective assets in the event of a breakdown of the relationship, so that they can pass them down to their respective children upon their deaths.
- A party contemplating entering into a marriage or de facto relationship who has assets of significantly greater value than those of the other party may wish to enter into a Financial Agreement to protect those assets in the event of the breakdown of the marriage or de facto relationship.
- A party who is likely to receive a substantial gift or inheritance from his or her parents may wish to enter a Financial Agreement to protect those assets in the event of the breakdown of the marriage or de facto relationship.
Each party to a Financial Agreement must be provided with independent legal advice before entering into the agreement about the effect of the agreement on the rights of the parties and the advantages and disadvantages, at the time that the advice was provided. Financial Agreements must be drafted in a manner which complies with the requirements of the Family Law Act to ensure that they are binding and enforceable.
Those wishing to enter into a Financial Agreement are advised to seek advice from a specialist family lawyer. Our team of experienced family lawyers are available to discuss Financial Agreements with you further, contact us today.