under australian law, pre-nuptial contracts are also known as binding financial agreements
Issues concerning pre-nuptial agreements often appear in the media, especially when it involves celebrities who are planning to marry or obtain divorce. Before entering marriage, affluent couples normally reach for an agreement on how they would divide their resources and obligations in case the separate. Through a pre-nuptial agreement, parties are able to secure their financial assets and negotiate beforehand whatever issue that may possibly arise after separating.
Under Australian Law, pre-nuptial contracts are also known as Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs) which can be joined by couples in three occasions:
- Before they start a de facto relationship or enter into marriage
- At the start of the de facto relationship or marriage
- After the separation or breakdown of marriage
Pre-nuptial agreements are not only for wealthy partners. To reduce the disputes that may occur in a post-separation process, partners are encouraged to have a pre-nuptial contract regardless of the economic position in life.
Entering into a pre-nuptial agreement can be misleading itself. Non-disclosure of resources and duress are typical pitfalls of pre-nuptial contracts that partners can fall unto when not being cautious. It should be mentioned that the judge provides a strict legislation which partners should follow to prevent the dismissal of case.
To prevent the typical errors in entering pre-nuptial agreements, partners should seek for an individual legal advice from professional lawyers. The purpose is to notify the partners of the terms and effects of the pre-nuptial agreement before partners can sign the agreement. Having this knowledge is important to make the contract valid and enforceable. The court also requires that the legal advice must be given by lawyers under the Australian jurisdiction. If the legal advice came from overseas lawyers, the case may be set aside by the judge. When creating the pre-nuptial agreement, the lawyers of the partners are required to be present.
Couples should put whatever agreement they have achieved into writings or Binding Financial Agreement with the presence of their individual lawyers. To confirm the same, the lawyers will also sign a Declaration of Independent Legal advice and attach it with the BFA.
If you are planning to get married and you sensed the need to start a pre-nuptial agreement, do not think twice on contacting our family lawyers for a timely advice catered to your situation. Discussing your family issue with a qualified family lawyer will best help you avoid 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.