Parties can enter a Financial Agreement (sometimes referred to as Binding Financial Agreements) at various stages of a relationship.
- As a couple about to enter a de facto relationship or marriage;
- In contemplation of marriage or whilst still in a de facto relationship;
- While still married or still in a de facto relationship;
- After breakdown of a de facto relationship or marriage.
To be enforceable, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Agreements are enforceable pursuant to the Family Law Act and under the law of contract.
Both parties will need to disclose all their assets as part of this agreement.
A solicitor’s certificate is required to certify that each party has been properly advised and understands all the implications of entering into such an Agreement.
Each party will need to obtain their own independent legal advice with respect to entering into a Financial Agreement. It is not possible for this firm (or any other firm) to act for both parties to a marriage or a relationship. Each party must have independent legal advice.
A recent decision of the High Court of Australia has been said by some commentators to lessen the effectiveness of Financial Agreements, and (as claimed by some) to mean that they are next to worthless. That is not our firm’s view. Our firm’s view is that a Financial Agreement, if prepared thoroughly and carefully and compliant with the legislation, is an effective method for couples to regulate the manner in which their assets will be divided on separation.
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss the preparation of a Financial Agreement or if you have been asked to sign a Financial Agreement by your partner / spouse, please contact our office.