Even though we do not enter a relationship with the prospects of it to end, some relationships whether married or de facto do not withstand the test of time. A financial agreement enables you and your partner to decide how your property and assets will be divided in the event of a separation and allows you to protect your pre-existing assets. It can be set up before, during or after the relationship, however, in order for the agreement to be valid you must have a certificate from a lawyer stating you have received independent legal advice.
Should your partner have drawn up a financial agreement and you wish to receive advice, our expert lawyers can help you understand the details of the agreement.
- Financial Agreement for Married Parties
- Financial Agreement for De Facto Relationships
Get one of our highly experienced family lawyers to advise on and/or set up a financial agreement. Give us a call today 03 5941 1622.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Financial Agreement?
A financial agreement is an agreement that meets the criteria set out in the Family Law Act 1975 and is an option available to separated parties to finalise the terms of their property settlement.
Both parties to the financial agreement are required to obtain independent legal advice prior to signing the agreement.
Can I be Forced to Sign a Financial Agreement?
No, you cannot be forced to sign a financial agreement. If you sign a financial agreement under pressure, the agreement may be set aside.
Often, the presentation of a financial agreement is an opportunity to commence negotiating a just and equitable outcome. You are not obligated to accept the terms of a financial agreement that is presented to you.
Why Do I Need a Legal Certificate?
The requirement to obtain legal advice before a financial agreement is binding ensures that both parties entering into the agreement are fully aware of the risks and benefits attaching to a financial agreement, before it becomes binding and that the terms of the agreement reflect your entitlements.
The role of the lawyer, is to not only ensure that the document itself will be binding, but is also to advise you of your entitlements in relation to a property settlement taking into account the facts and circumstances of your relationship.
Do I have to disclose my Financial Circumstances?
Yes, you are required to make full and frank disclosure of your financial circumstances to the other party prior to entering into a financial.
The consequences of failing to disclose an asset or your full financial position can lead to disastrous consequences, including the setting aside of the agreement by the court and a renegotiation of a property settlement.
Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement the same as a Financial Agreement?
In essence yes, however in Australia a pre-nuptial agreement is referred to as a financial agreement.
This type of financial agreement will detail the financial circumstances of each party prior to a marriage, and will set out what each party agrees will occur in the event that the relationship breaks down at a later date. It is important to consider what will occur in the event of a change in circumstances, such as the birth of a child or where one party is no longer able to engage in active employment.
Duffy & Simon advises clients on these issues and prepares and reviews financial agreements prior to a marriage occurring.