Financial Agreements set out how property and spousal maintenance will be dealt with if a marriage or de facto relationship ends in divorce. Without a Financial Agreement in place, a court will apply the ordinary principles of property settlement and spousal maintenance under the Family Law Act.
Financial Agreements can record how maintenance, or all or some of the property and financial resources will be dealt with in the event of the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship, and can be made:
- Before marriage or before a de facto relationship has begun (‘prenuptial’)
- During marriage or during a de facto relationship
- After marriage breakdown or after a de facto relationship has broken down (‘postnuptial’)
Financial Agreements limit the ability of a court to make a decision about property settlement or maintenance, so it’s important you understand the implications before you are bound by it.
It’s good to know though that there are conditions that must be met for a Financial Agreement to be binding. Each party must receive certificated advice from a lawyer about the agreement.
Financial Agreements can be ended by a new agreement or by formal termination. A court can also set them aside if one party defrauded the other or has acted unfairly. If a significant change in circumstances relating to the care, welfare or development of a child of the relationship has arisen since the agreement was made, a court may also set it aside.