Are Prenuptial Agreements Binding in Australia?

Prenuptial Agreements Binding in Australia

As couples think about getting married or starting a de facto relationship, they may also be looking at creating a prenuptial agreement. Under Australian family law, these are officially called Binding Financial Agreements, but due to the influence of the US, they are still often called prenuptial agreements or simply prenups. In Australia, these agreements are legally binding and enforceable only if they comply with the requirements in this provision. 

We will be discussing some of the benefits of prenups and how they are set out in the Family Law Act in Australia. 

What is a prenup?

A prenuptial agreement typically covers the financial matters between couples who are planning on getting married, but it can also address other issues such as spousal maintenance too. The agreement itself will outline how to split up net assets and resources in the event that the relationship breaks down. It will also exclude the Family Court from having a say in the division of these resources. 

The prenup or a Binding Financial Agreement in Australia has to be signed by both of the parties entering the prenup. Each person has to have independent legal representation, with each having been given solid legal advice on the effects of the prenup before it is officially signed. This is why it’s essential to talk to experienced family lawyers who are able to provide this certified advice and sign the agreement with the two parties. 

What should a prenup cover?

Although most prenups simply cover how the assets and liabilities will be divided in the event that there is a separation or divorce, they can also include a number of other matters as well. If the parties have a child or are looking at having children in the future, the prenup can also include relevant information about child support and the conditional arrangements for the children. 

What are the benefits of a prenup?

The main benefit of a prenup is to provide a level of certainty in the relationship, as you’ll know exactly how your assets and resources would be divided if the relationship did break down. This can help to avoid any further conflict when attempting to take these actions without a prenup in place. Any potential conflicts are dealt with by the prenup as it gives a level of finality that you are often lacking. 

Without the worry of what will happen in the future, a prenup offers a greater deal of security in the relationship too. It’s a great way of keeping matters private as well, with a prenuptial agreement involving just the parties and their lawyers. Taking matters into court proceedings adds a number of more people into the situation, which many people would like to avoid. 

Once both parties have come to an agreement on the terms, a prenup and the letter of legal advice can usually be produced within 1-2 weeks. When compared to the time and costs involved in other forms of dispute resolution in the case that your relationship breaks down and there is no prenup involved, you’ll be saving yourself a huge amount of time and money with a prenup. 

How can family lawyers help with Binding Financial Agreements?

Speaking to respected family lawyers can help you to properly draft up your Binding Financial Agreements, so that you have covered all aspects of your assets and financial resources. You’ll need to have a different lawyer to represent each party so that you can obtain the relevant advice on the effects of your prenup. Building a Binding Financial Agreement can be efficient and comprehensive with the help of a family lawyer, giving you and your partner greater peace of mind. 

DISCLAIMER: 

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The contents of this blog are not intended to be sound substitutes for legal advice. You should not rely on this information as legal advice and instead should always speak to an accredited lawyer for professional advice on your situation. 

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