A Financial Agreement, or Binding Financial Agreement, regulates the use and division of property on the breakdown of a relationship. It is a private document and does not require Family Court approval. It prevents the Family Court from making orders to adjust interests in property. Financial Agreements can be made by married or de facto couples.
TYPES OF AGREEMENTS
Financial agreements made before people marry or enter into a de facto a relationship are sometimes known as pre-nuptial agreements. They provide certainty to both parties because they specify how property and financial resources will be divided if they live together and later separate. The agreement can also cover whether maintenance will be paid by one person to the other, and if so, for how long.
If people are already married or in a de facto relationship they can make a Financial Agreement about how their property or financial resources are divided if they separatte. The agreement can include property brought into the relationship and property accumulated while they are together.
Where people have already divorced, they are still able to enter a Financial Agreement to govern their maintenance and property settlement. Similarly, de facto couples who are outside of time limitations can still agree to make a Financial Agreement to finalise their property entitlements.
Strict Requirements of Financial Agreements
Financial Agreements enable people to limit their rights to have a Court make a decision about their property settlement. This may mean an Agreement is outside the range of what the Family Court considers is just and equitable. For this reason, the Family Law Act imposes strict requirements to ensure each person has received independent legal advice about the effect of the agreement on their rights and about the advantages and disadvantages of making the Financial Agreement.
Use of Financial Agreements
Financials Agreements are the only real way of protecting property in the event of a relationship breakdown. Whether that property was accumulated before the relationship, received as an inheritance, gifted by family or is the result of a property settlement in a previous relationship, if you want to protect it you should consider a Financial Agreement.
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