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Financial Agreements

As our society is ageing and as it is more and more common to have second and third marriages and de facto relationships, it is understandable that many people are looking for ways to protect their property from any potential break ups in the future.

Financial Agreements can be made in contemplation of marriage or de facto relationship or during a marriage or de facto relationship or after the marriage or de facto relationship has ended.

A financial agreement is a private agreement which is agreed to by both you and your partner.

Financial agreements can deal with all property, including superannuation, financial resources and /or maintenance of the parties and children. They do not however, deal with child custody matters.

The main advantage of a financial agreement is that it requires no court appearance and no approval from the court. Indeed, the purpose of the financial agreement is to exclude the court, with some very few exceptions. Further a financial agreement is effective upon signing the document by both parties, and as such there are no court delays, court costs or adhering to court timetables.

The main disadvantage of entering into a financial agreement is that the agreement does not have an independent third party, usually the Registrar of the Family Court of Australia, reviewing the agreement, as is the case with consent orders which are filed at the Family Court.

It is extremely important that if you are entering a financial agreement, that you fully understand the terms of the agreement and the effect of the agreement on your financial position and circumstances.

Once you sign the financial agreement they are final. It is often very difficult to terminate them, without the consent of the other party. There are limited circumstances where the court will consider setting aside a financial agreement that was entered after consideration and consent of the parties.

Entering into a Financial Agreement is a very serious matter and one that requires that you and your partner each receive independent legal advice.

If you require further information about this complex area of family law, contact us.

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