Binding financial agreements

Financial planning

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What is a financial agreement?

Financial agreements are available to married couples as well as those in a de facto relationship, and can be made before or during a relationship, or after separation. They are legally binding under Australian law as long as the requirements for validity are met.

To be binding, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Prior to entering into the agreement, each party must receive independent legal advice from an Australian legal practitioner. Lander & Rogers’ family lawyers have extensive experience drafting financial agreements and will ensure you clearly understand the effect on your rights of signing the agreement, and its advantages and disadvantages.

What can be included in a financial agreement?

A financial agreement records a couple’s intentions as to how all, or some, of their property is to be dealt with following a separation. It can also cover obligations by one party to pay spousal maintenance to the other in the event of a separation, or terminate that obligation altogether.

You can tailor your financial agreement to suit your circumstances, aim and financial position, and those of the other party.

What is the effect of a financial agreement?

If a financial agreement has been properly prepared and the requirements met, it is binding on the parties. This means that neither party can then make a claim to the court in relation to matters covered in the agreement such as property settlement and/or spousal maintenance. This provides certainty in how your property will be divided following a separation, and saves considerable money in legal fees and time, with no need to pursue litigation in the court at the end of the relationship.

Specialised legal advice

Financial agreements are highly technical and detailed documents. Your family lawyer will help you determine whether a financial agreement is right for your circumstances, as well as record and document the most appropriate terms of the agreement.

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