Pre-nuptial agreements are often talked in the media, usually in matters concerning celebrity marriages and divorce.
Before entering into marriage, rich and famous couples normally reach for an agreement as to how they would divide their assets and liabilities in case of divorce. Through a pre-nuptial agreement, parties can protect their financial assets and settle beforehand whatever issue that may arise upon divorce.
Under Australian Law, prenuptial agreements are also known as Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs) which can be entered by parties in three occasions:
- Before they start a de facto relationship or enter into marriage
- They are already in a de facto relationship or already married
- After they have separated and the de facto relationship or marriage has ended
Pre-nuptial agreements are not only for rich couples. To minimize the conflicts that may arise in post-separation proceedings, couples are encouraged to execute an agreement regardless of the status in life.
Entering into a prenuptial agreement can be deceiving itself. Non-disclosure of assets and unreasonable pressures are common pitfalls of pre-nuptial agreements that couples can fall unto when not being careful. It should be noted that the court provides stringent legal requirements which couples should follow to avoid dismissal of the case.
To avoid the common mistakes upon entering into pre-nuptial agreements, couples should seek for independent legal advice from expert family lawyers. The purpose is to inform the couples of the terms and effects of the agreement before couples can sign the agreement. Having this knowledge is important to render the agreement as valid and enforceable.
The legal advice must also come from a lawyer in an Australian jurisdiction. If the legal advice came from a lawyer practising in another country, the case might be set aside by the court. When drafting the agreement, the lawyers of the couples are required to be present.
Couples should put whatever agreements they have reached into a written or Binding Financial Agreement with the presence of their lawyers. To prove the same, the lawyers will also sign a Statement of Independent Legal Advice and attach it to the BFA.
If you are planning to get married and you felt the need to enter into a prenuptial agreement, do not hesitate to contact Armstrong Legal for timely advice tailored to your situation. Speaking with a competent family lawyer largely helps in avoiding the potential pitfalls of pre-nuptial agreements.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.