Financial Agreements work as a useful tool in estate planning, especially when either or both parties have children from previous relationships and want to protect their assets for their children.
A Financial Agreement can allow the parties to the relationship to decide who will receive their assets in the event of separation.
Financial Agreements may be entered into by married couples (or those contemplating marriage) and de facto couples (same sex and opposite sex) and those contemplating a de facto relationship.
Financial Agreements are divided into three groups:
- made before marriage or before the commencement of a de facto relationship.
- made during marriage (including after separation) or during a de facto relationship.
- made post-divorce or at the end of a de facto relationship.
A Financial Agreement must:
- be in writing;
- be made by parties who are married (or in a de facto relationship) or contemplating marriage (or a de facto relationship) with each other;
- be expressed to be made under the relevant provisions of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (in a marriage situation) and Family Court Act 1997 (WA) (in a de facto situation); and
- deal with either or both of the following matters:
- how, in the event of marital or relationship breakdown, all or any of the property or financial resources of either or both parties is to be dealt with or distributed, and
- the maintenance of either party, during the marriage or de facto relationship, or after the marriage or end of the de facto relationship, or both during and after the end of the marriage or de facto relationship.
A Financial Agreement will be binding on the parties if:
- the agreement has been signed by both parties; and
- before signing the agreement, each party must have received independent legal advice about his or her rights and the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the agreement.
It is vital to note that both parties are obliged to provide full and frank disclosure of their financial position prior to entering into the Financial Agreement. Non-disclosure or insufficient disclosure may result in the Financial Agreement being set-aside.
If you are contemplating marriage, in a de facto relationship or have recently separated from your partner, please call us to discuss a Financial Agreement on 08 9422 8111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.