A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding financial agreement that protects the assets of both parties in case of the marriage or de facto relationship ending. Having such agreements in place may seem unnecessary before getting married, however they often provide peace of mind to the parties involved.
Financial and prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common and can save a lot of disagreement and conflict in the future should the relationship finish. A prenuptial agreement (or a Binding Financial Agreement) is a legally enforceable agreement which defines the financial and property rights of each person if the marriage ends.
The agreement is entered into by two people prior to their marriage. Whilst it may not be the most romantic exercise for a couple to undertake, they can be necessary, particularly for those wishing to protect their pre-existing assets.
If you are considering a prenuptial or financial agreement, talk to one of our lawyers for independent and sound legal advice. We can also help you with drafting or enforcing agreements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make a prenuptial agreement after marriage?
Financial agreements can be arranged before, during or after a relationship. Whilst prenuptials refer to a financial agreement made prior to marriage; postnuptial agreements can be reached once a couple has already married.
What can prenuptial agreements include?
They can include how a couple’s assets and money will be divided, any financial support required during or after the marriage and any other elements that couples wish to include.
What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement provides certainty and security for both parties during and after a relationship. Binding Financial Agreements also carry some tax benefits should they be activated, as they work in the same manner as Court Orders in this respect.
Can de facto partners have prenuptial agreements?
Absolutely. A Binding Financial Agreement is a contract that a couple in a relationship, either as de facto partners or marital partners can enter.
Can same sex couples have a prenuptial agreement?
Definitely. The Marriage Act (1961) was amended in 2017. The new legal definition of marriage in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. This allows lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people to marry irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender.
Can a Court overturn a prenuptial agreement?
A Family Court may set aside the agreement if it was obtained through fraud such as non-disclosure of all assets or unfair conduct. If there has been a change in the situation since the agreement was made, but has not been provided for within the document, then the court may also set aside the prenuptial agreement.
How long is a prenuptial agreement valid for?
Prenuptial agreements typically have no expiration date. If you are seeking to have a prenuptial agreement overturned you will need to provide reasons other than length of marriage, for example a change in circumstances not considered within the agreement. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, speak to an experienced family lawyer to ensure your best interests are maintained.